Two Edmonton cleantech companies are getting closer to opening facilities in Alberta's Industrial Heartland, where they plan to leverage the area's unique assets.
The CEOs of Varme Energy and Aurora Hydrogen addressed the opportunities they see in energy diversification during a panel discussion at the Alberta's Industrial Heartland Association conference at the Edmonton Convention Centre on Sept. 14.
Starting in 2024, Varme is planning to build a $250-million to $300-million facility to generate electricity from burning trash while capturing its carbon emissions.
"Garbage is almost like coal," CEO Sean Collins told Taproot following the panel. "What I find crazy is that we pay money for coal, to burn it, and we pay money to get rid of garbage. So for us, it's sort of the inversion of that."
The Heartland is an ideal location for Varme because of its proximity to the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line, Collins said.
"We can get lease options that are 1,300 metres away from the largest CO2 pipeline on Earth," he said. "If you're adding 20, 30 kilometres of CO2 pipeline, you're obliterating your economics … We sort of say the Industrial Heartland is the belle of the ball."
"We're basically borrowing some land from them right now to do the development and leverage some of their professional expertise," Gillis said in an interview. "Once the technology is operational, then we expect to be able to deploy it commercially wherever anyone needs."