Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), a government-funded organization dedicated to decarbonization and sustainability initiatives, is launching a $50 million funding competition for groups and organizations seeking to undertake energy efficiency projects in the province.
The Reshaping Energy Systems funding competition was announced on Wednesday and will be funded by the Alberta government’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund.
The competition’s call for project funding proposals is focused on exploring various areas including energy transport and distribution technology, energy storage, digital solutions for energy management, grid-interactive building efficiency technologies, low-emission vehicle infrastructure and fleets.
It is not limited to any particular energy carrier, such as electricity, natural gas, or hydrogen and encourages integration between different systems.
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Applicants who meet the criteria can qualify for funding of up to $10 million with a minimum request of $250,000. The maximum contribution from ERA to a single project will not exceed 50 per cent of the project’s eligible costs. The deadline for submitting applications is Thursday, June 15, 2023, at 5 p.m.
Although the technology solutions can come from anywhere in the world, they must be piloted, demonstrated or deployed in Alberta.
Applications are open to a wide range of participants including innovators, technology developers, commercial and industrial building owners, municipalities, Indigenous groups, associations, small and medium-sized enterprises, research and development organizations, universities, not-for-profit organizations and other eligible entities.
FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT: We are investing $50M in technology solutions focused on the transport, storage, and end-use of energy that reduce emissions and enable a more sustainable grid in #Alberta @YourAlberta @sonyasavage #ERAFunded #cleantech #cleanenergy https://t.co/iBzF82nmT6 pic.twitter.com/wrxLrBwsy4
— EmissionsReductionAB (@ERAlberta_) April 12, 2023
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Major utility companies like Fortis Inc (TSX: FTS) and ENMAX voiced their approval of the funding competition.
“The pace of technological innovation in the decarbonization of the electrical distribution system requires continuous study and testing of any new solutions. ERA funding provides an opportunity to put these technologies to the test, adapt to the outcomes and ultimately contribute to the journey towards net zero,” said Grant Wiens, Manager of Distribution Planning at Fortis Alberta.
“ENMAX is pleased Emissions Reduction Alberta is launching this new challenge to advance all elements of the electricity system, including transmission and distribution,” said Mark Poweska, President and CEO of ENMAX.
Saskatchewan’s First Nations Power Authority is also enthusiastic about the the potential for funding Indigenous-led projects in Alberta.
“It’s important that Indigenous-led projects are encouraged through this funding initiative to support increased economic benefits and energy sovereignty for First Nation communities,” said Guy Lonechild, CEO of the First Nations Power Authority.
ERA’s competitive review process will determine the submissions that are selected. An impartial team of experts in various fields including science, engineering, business development, commercialization, financing and GHG quantification will conduct a thorough and transparent review overseen by a Fairness Monitor to ensure fairness and integrity.
Fortis stock dropped by 0.17 per cent Wednesday to $60.07 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.