A power generating facility located at Crossfield is one of 11 in the province to receive funding from the Alberta government to reduce operating costs and cut emissions.
The Enmax Crossfield Hybrid Electric Gas Turbine will get the money through the $70 million Industrial Efficiency Challenge which is a part of Alberta's Climate Leadership Plan.
The projects were selected and funded through Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) an organization that accelerates the development and demonstration of emissions-reducing technologies.
Lonnie Enns is the Senior Vice-President of Power Supply with Enmax. He explains that their project will be an add on to their already existing facility at Crossfield. "The existing facility at Crossfield is three generating units. This is adding a large battery about the size of a rail car, bolted on to one of our generating facilities there. This allows us to keep the facility on standby, ready to go at any moment, without burning any fuel and that's where the greenhouse gas savings are created, by being on standby without burning any fuel."
The new battery will only add about 10 megawatts of additional electricity to the Crossfield project, but Enns says that's not where the value lies. Enns explains, "It's the ability for the battery to react really quickly. The natural gas facility that we have there takes some time to start up but the battery can come on almost instantly."
Although the complete costs haven't been finalized yet, Enns says they've been given an "up to" funding of around $7 million. The money will be released on a "milestone by milestone" basis and Enns says since the funding has just been announced the details of what milestones Enmax must achieve haven't been worked out yet. Enns feels that the battery can be delivered and installed sometime this year.
Each of the three facilities at the Crossfield site currently produces about 40 megawatts of power. It has between six and 10 people working at any time.
93 projects were reviewed by the government before the 11 were selected for funding. Enns says without money from Alberta, the project couldn't go ahead.
"We really need to be partners with the government to start this pilot so this is really what's enabling us is the funding from the government. This is the first of it's kind in Canada. It's really the new technology that's going to propel us forward into the green energy future, for sure. We're looking forward to installing this and advancing out fleet to make it some of the best in Canada."
Other projects that were selected for funding include Imperial Oil's Kearl ConDex Flue Gas Heat and Water Recovery Project, Energreen Solution's Strathcona Works - Waste Heat to Power Project and the Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. Kraft Pulp Mill Flue Gas Energy Recovery Project.
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