ERA’s new $30 million funding opportunity will accelerate development of industrial-scale carbon capture and transportation technology solutions in Alberta. The Carbon Capture Kickstart: Design and Engineering call builds on Alberta’s global leadership in this space, and will fill key knowledge gaps, drive partnerships and innovation, and accelerate project financing and deployment in Alberta.

The Government of Alberta is providing $30 million to ERA from the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund. Jason Nixon, Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks; and ERA CEO, Steve MacDonald, made the announcement on Friday, January 14, 2022.

Carbon Capture Kickstart supports pre-construction design and engineering. It does not support capital costs. It is focused onsite carbon capture, direct air capture, direct carbon conversion, and strategic CO2 transportation infrastructure. Studies may cover multiple eligible areas. The underlying technologies funded must be at a sufficient level of technical and commercial development that they are ready for commercial-scale projects at an actual industry site.

Proposals can address emissions across industrial sectors: power generation, cement production, manufacturing, oil and gas, and more. All proposals must target specific large final emitter sites in Alberta. Submissions are encouraged for studies that will build upon existing work but must demonstrate how the study will advance the project beyond the current state.

The application deadline is Thursday, March 3, 2022, at 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (UTC-7h). Late submissions will not be accepted. Please read the Call for Expressions of Interest Guidelines for program and submission details. We hosted an informational webinar on January 26. Watch a recording of the webinar below.

INFORMATION WEBINAR

 
ERA will contribute up to 50 percent of the project cost to a maximum of $5 million and a minimum of $1 million. Applicants may request up to $7.5 million if the proposal involves a consortium of multiple participants for a single study covering the entire CO2 value chain from capture to permanent sequestration. ERA will also identify opportunities to leverage funding for this call with support from other funding agencies, including Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Energy Innovation Program – Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Stream.

Technology developers, industry operators, industrial associations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), municipalities, and others are encouraged to apply. Partnerships and collaborations are encouraged. Applicants are encouraged to engage and include Alberta’s post-secondary and research institutions in project consortia where appropriate.

Click the links below for more details:

ERA’s funding opportunity aligns with the Federal Government’s committed introduction of an investment tax credit for capital invested in CCUS projects starting in 2022. It also supports the Government of Alberta’s carbon sequestration hub approach announced in 2021.

FOCUS AREAS

Examples of carbon capture technologies that could be considered by studies eligible include:

  • Chemical absorption and concentration of CO2 in a cyclic manner, such as amine-based carbon capture or capture via enzymes.
  • Physical concentration and purification of CO2 via cryogenics, pressure swing, and/or the use of sorbent materials.
  • Oxy-fuel combustion to produce a pure CO2 stream, including required upstream technologies such as oxygen plants.
  • Direct capture/separation of CO2 streams generated from non-combustion industrial processes.
  • Emerging capture solutions including chemical-looping combustion or direct sequestration of CO2 in onsite carbon utilization processes.

The minimum scale of project is a capture rate of 200 ktCO2 annually. For transportation network projects, the minimum scale is an annual transport volume of 1 MtCO2 and projects must include multiple capture sites.

APPROVAL PROCESS

Submissions will be selected through ERA’s competitive review process. A team of experts in science, engineering, business development, commercialization, financing, and GHG quantification will conduct an independent, rigorous, transparent review overseen by a Fairness Monitor. Recognizing the need for rapid progress and the reduced evaluation requirements associated with studies, ERA has implemented a modified intake process specific to this Call.

  • ERA will accept Expression of Interests  from all interested applicants.
  • ERA will review all EOIs in a competitive process to establish a shortlist of strong opportunities.
  • Applicants on the shortlist will be invited to present to ERA’s expert review panel and will be subjected to additional due diligence.
  • The review panel will then provide a funding recommendation to ERA’s Board of Directors.

KNOWLEDGE SHARING

The purpose of this call is to provide valuable information to support investment decisions and policy and program design for Alberta and Canada. All ERA funding recipients are required to produce a final outcomes report that is shared publicly for the broader benefit of Alberta. Funding recipients will be required to report on project outcomes, achievements, and lessons learned including GHG reductions, job creation, and other environmental, economic, and social benefits.

Successful applicants will be expected to commit to the following at a minimum:

  • Publication of study learnings and key outcomes following completion
  • Publication in whole or in part (where confidentiality is needed to protect equipment supplier intellectual property) of the completed study
  • Recipient participation in an annual confidential roundtable with other recipients to discuss and share learnings and best practices
  • Recipient participation in a wrap-up public Lessons Learned event to broadly share the high-level outcomes of their studies
  • Recipient provision of Post Project Reports to inform ERA on project outcomes.

By supporting these studies, ERA hopes to:

  • Improve understanding of the current costs associated with large-scale adoption of carbon capture to better inform investment decisions.
  • Provide industry and government with increased lines of sight to the feasibility and integration requirements of large-scale CCUS projects in Alberta.
  • De-risk initiation of industrial-scale carbon capture projects and accelerate substantial follow-on investment for projects that have favorable study findings.
  • Build Alberta’s capabilities and develop a qualified workforce familiar with carbon capture technologies, enhancing Alberta’s position as a leader in the area.
  • Increase coordination with the Government of Alberta’s recently announced carbon sequestration hub approach.