ERA’s BEST Challenge—a funding opportunity for biotechnology, electricity, and sustainable transportation—is awarding $100 million for projects worth a combined value of $600 million. Projects range from new solar opportunities in coal-impacted communities to electrification of bus fleets to energy storage and bold new uses for hydrogen.
These initiatives are anticipated to account for cumulative greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of 2.5 million tonnes of CO₂e by 2030—equivalent to the GHG emissions from 530,786 passenger vehicles driven for one year. These promising projects will create new economic opportunities across Alberta’s electricity, transportation, and biological industries. This funding support will help demonstrate and scale-up innovative technologies that can be adopted in communities across Alberta and around the world.
ERA Board Chair Dave Collyer made the announcement with Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and the Minister Responsible for Climate Change, on March 12, 2019 in Edmonton.
Working with Trusted Partners across the Canadian innovation ecosystem creates a unified approach to reducing GHG emissions and securing Alberta’s lower carbon success. In 2018/19 the program committed over $24 million in investments to seven projects worth $873 million.
ERA received 180 expressions of interest in September 2018 through its BEST Challenge. Twenty-four were shortlisted and invited to submit Full Project Proposals and make in-person presentations. Projects were selected through ERA’s competitive review process. A team of experts in science, engineering, business development, commercialization, financing, and GHG quantification conducted an independent, rigorous, transparent review overseen by a Fairness Monitor. The ERA Board approved funding recipients in March of 2019. All recipients are required to produce a final outcomes report shared publicly for the broader benefit of Alberta.
Launched in July 2018, ERA’s BEST Challenge targets technologies that demonstrate the potential to reduce GHG emissions in Alberta and secure the province’s success in a lower carbon economy. Innovators with technology scale-up, demonstration, and first-of-kind implementation projects in the areas of biotechnology, electricity or sustainable transportation were invited to apply.
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The BEST Challenge is designed to align with Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, the Climate Change Innovation and Technology Framework (CCITF), and other Government of Alberta initiatives. ERA is a key partner in addressing Alberta’s Climate Leadership priorities. We receive grants from government to deliver on our mandate. This funding is sourced from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund, one of the options Large Final Emitters can use to comply with GHG-reducing regulations. ERA works collaboratively with government, industry and other stakeholders. Together, we can build a better province for future generations. The maximum length for projects funded under the BEST Challenge is three years.
Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is a legal tradename of the Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation.