How much is 24 megawatts of electricity? Enough energy to power 23,000 homes. It is also the amount of electricity that could be generated by recovering waste heat at Rio Tinto Alcan’s manufacturing facility in Edmonton.

Energreen Solutions and Strathcona Works are teaming up for a cogeneration project that is expected to reduce emissions released from the facility and create new revenue streams. The project estimates greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions greater than 100,000 tonnes of CO2e per year once implemented. This promising technology solution is getting a funding boost from ERA’s Industrial Efficiency Challenge. The total project value is estimated at $70 million; ERA is providing $10 million.

“The Strathcona Works project is one of many similar waste heat to power opportunities that are being developed. This is an exciting project,” said Daniel O’Connor, president and founder, Energreen Solutions.

The Rio Tinto facility refines petroleum coke, a process that requires high temperatures. The ERA funded technology takes exhaust from the existing stack and uses it to boil water and create high pressure steam. A steam turbine, connected to an electric generator, creates the emissions free electricity.

The electricity from the waste heat to power plant will offset higher intensity sources of power from Alberta’s electricity grid, providing a steady income stream for the facility. It could also allow for a possible production increase.

“We generate a lot of heat. Our chamber produces energy at a thousand degrees and that would be transferred to this power generation unit,” said Luc Côté, Plant Manager, Strathcona Works, Rio Tinto. “Also, by reducing the temperature of fl ue gasses, an integrated Flue Gas Desulfurization system and filter can reduce sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and particulate emissions from the facility.”

Technologies like waste heat recovery can be adopted across industry sectors, leading to further emissions reduction and economic benefits for Alberta, Canada, and globally.