BC to fund clean energy projects



The Government of British Columbia has announced funding allocations for a diverse array of clean energy technology development applications under the Province’s Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund. The ICE funding will be used to lever investments totalling nearly $80 million.

The $25 million in funding was announced by newly appointed Technology, Trade and Economic Development Minister Ida Chong and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Richard Neufeld.

Applications in response to the first call for proposals came from across British Columbia, representing a broad range of technologies and sectors, including bioenergy, geothermal, solar and other alternative energy sources. Funding was provided to projects that addressed specific energy and environmental priorities as identified by the government, and is intended to accelerate the commercialization of these technologies.

A second call for applications with a focus on rural B.C. is expected in the fall of 2008.


Biomass Gasification Project at University of Northern BC
Prince George - ICE Fund $3.5 million

UNBC is proposing to work with Nexterra Energy Corporation to implement a system to gasify mountain pine beetle infested biomass, producing heat to fire a boiler at the power plant on campus to heat university buildings. This showcase project, the first of its kind at a Canadian university, will be a catalyst for replication, research and economic development. Biomass gasification could displace up to 80 per cent of the fossil fuel currently used to heat buildings on the UNBC campus.

Enviro-Carbonizer - Scale-up to Production Plant Level
Prince George - ICE Fund $2.69 million

Alterna Energy Inc. will build a plant in Prince George to produce bio-carbon (charcoal), and usable thermal energy from a wide variety of forest wastes and mountain pine beetle infested biomass. Converting 180,000 tonnes of biomass annually, the plant is modular and scaleable, making replication a viable option in small and rural communities. Alterna is striving to eventually use different in-feed materials, such as municipal waste and scrap tires, to fuel the plant.

BC BioEnergy from BioGas Project
Vancouver - ICE Fund $3 million

The project will result in electricity production at Metro Vancouver’s Lulu Island wastewater treatment plant in Richmond. Paradigm Environmental Technologies Inc. developed a made-in-B.C. MicroSludge process, which works with the co-generation equipment at Lulu Island to turn wastewater sludge into a clean, renewable source of electricity. Metro Vancouver will be the economic beneficiary of the project.

Greenhouse Wood-Fired Heat and CO2 Recovery Plant
Aldergrove - Lower Mainland - ICE Fund $2.24 million

SunSelect Produce (Delta) Inc. will develop, construct and operate a wood waste energy plant to power a 14 MW wood fired boiler and also capture carbon dioxide. The project will provide heat and carbon dioxide to operate an existing 160,000 square meter modern glass greenhouse owned and operated by SunSelect Produce. The wood waste energy plant will produce clean energy from a renewable fuel source and operate with 20 per cent more efficiency than existing wood waste plants.

Cellulosic Ethanol Production
Burnaby - ICE Fund $1.96 million

Lignol Innovations will produce cellulose ethanol from mountain pine beetle infested fibre and other feedstocks from British Columbia. The Lignol process is widely regarded as one of the most promising cellulosic ethanol solutions under development.

Direct-Fired Boiler Biomass Gasification Demonstration Project
New Westminster - ICE Fund $1.5 million

Nexterra Energy Corporation will work with FP Innovations and Kruger Products Ltd. to apply its biomass gasification technology for industrial use. The consortium will demonstrate a direct-fired biomass gasification system (turning forest/wood waste into gas to produce heat) for use at the Kruger tissue mill in New Westminster. ICE Fund support will help achieve replication and commercialization of the process.

Advanced High Yield Biogas System
Abbotsford - ICE Fund $1.5 million

Catalyst Power Inc.’s project will result in a high yield biogas system, providing the first Anaerobic Digester (AD) built in British Columbia to serve the Fraser Valley agricultural community. The project represents an economic and environmentally sustainable way to utilize agricultural waste. As research partner in the project, the University of British Columbia has developed a process for extracting nutrients and producing energy from agricultural waste. Fertilizer mixes are among the useful agricultural byproducts of the process.

Bee-Hive Burner Replacement and BioEnergy Creation Project
Revelstoke - ICE Fund $750,000

The project will provide a modular pellet plant at Kozek Sawmill, designed by project proponent SBC Firemaster Ltd. to handle many different sorts of fibre, including lower quality material, such as tree bark. The energy produced by the plant will provide Revelstoke General Hospital and Revelstoke Mountain Resort with clean, carbon neutral renewable energy. The project also allows the shutdown of a local beehive burner.

Solar Canopy Illumination System Demonstration Project
Burnaby - ICE Fund $2 million

The University of British Columbia’s Solar Canopy Illumination System provides daylight to the interior of multi-floor office buildings, either by design in new buildings or by retrofitting existing structures. The system reduces the need for electric lighting, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By producing a variety of demonstration installations, the project will showcase how the technology applies in different types of buildings in various geographical locations, for the benefit of architects, engineers and lighting specialists. The Solar Canopy Illumination System can reduce energy requirements for a standard commercial building by at least 25 per cent. About half of the 10 million square meters of office space in British Columbia is appropriate for a Solar Canopy installation.

SolTrak - Solar Roofing System
Langley - ICE Fund $520,000

MSR Innovations developed a modular solar roofing system called SolTrak that uses a unique tile and track system for installation. ICE Fund support allows the first construction of public demonstration sites for the solar photovoltaic system incorporated into the roof tiles. The demonstration sites will allow data collection and analysis to support large-scale manufacturing and assembly of the system.

Solar Photovoltaic Innovation and Demonstration Project - T’Sou-Ke First Nation, Sooke - ICE Fund $400,000

Support from the ICE Fund will help T’Sou-Ke First Nation, on Vancouver Island west of Victoria, to build a 75 KW photovoltaic (PV) installation on their territory to generate solar power. It will be the largest grid-connected operating PV energy system in British Columbia and it will meet the First Nation’s objective of becoming a sustainable solar community. The demonstration project will compare technology, costs and environmental impact with hydro and diesel-generated power. Resulting energy savings will contribute to the T’Sou-Ke First Nation plans to build a second solar power generating unit. Within a year of receiving ICE Fund financial support, T’Sou-Ke First Nation will hold a Solar Community Forum for all off-grid First Nations in British Columbia.

Development of an Intelligent Micro-Grid at BCIT
Burnaby - ICE Fund $2.69 million

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) will design and develop an intelligent electricity grid system. The grid will allow for testing of communication technologies, smart metering, smart appliances, and co-generation (thermal, turbine, wind and solar). As a testing bed, the grid will support commercialization and use of technologies to help meet British Columbia’s electricity needs and priorities. BCIT’s new Centre for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI) will implement the project.

Fairfield Propagators Ltd. Geothermal Energy System - Chilliwack
ICE Fund $1.26 million

A 12-acre greenhouse facility in Chilliwack will be the site of a unique demonstration project promoting the use of geothermal energy systems (GES). Known as Fairfield Propagators Ltd., the facility is the largest lily and chrysanthemum grower in the province. It uses natural gas and electricity for winter heating and summer cooling, which generates about 2,900 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The project will replace the current heating/cooling system with an open-loop geothermal energy heat pump system, using ground water at different temperatures to either heat or cool the buildings, minimizing GHG emissions and providing lower-cost energy. The project includes a demonstration component - the Geothermal Technology-Transfer Centre in order to showcase the process for greenhouse growers, businesses and institutions.

Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant BioGas Upgrading Project - Vancouver - ICE Fund $370,000

Terasen Gas Inc. will use QuestAir’s advanced gas purification system to recover pipeline-grade methane (biomethane) from Metro Vancouver’s Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant. Currently the biogas produced at the plant is flared. The project will showcase the technology used to produce biomethane from wastewater, so it can be applied to other biogas upgrade projects in the municipal waste and agricultural sectors.

Halfway Ranch Micro-Hydro Generating Plant - Kamloops
ICE Fund $40,000

The project at Halfway Ranch, west of Kamloops between Lytton and Lillooet, converts the energy of water moving through an irrigation system into hydro electricity that can be connected to the BC Hydro grid. The ICE Fund supports construction of a powerhouse using two pumps as turbines to generate a maximum of 25 KW of electricity. A maximum of 25 KW of power will be produced. After generating electricity, the water is used to irrigate over 80 hectares of farmland.

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