A proposal to construct a big hydrogen-powered residential neighbourhood east of Edmonton gained momentum on Tuesday as a provincial Crown corporation announced a funding grant to maneuver the project forward.
Bremner, a community that might potentially house 85,000 more people in Strathcona County, is a project being planned by land development firm Qualico and the utility company ATCO.
The project hopes to have newly-built homes in the neighborhood equipped with furnaces and hot water tanks powered by hydrogen, and eventually grills and cooktops, as a part of a plan to construct more environmentally conscious communities.
READ MORE: Councillors in Strathcona County vote to adopt Bremner area concept plan
At a news conference on Tuesday, the CEO of Alberta Innovates announced that Bremner is one in all 18 projects that may receive a piece of funding from $20 million price of grants being provided through its Alberta Hydrogen Centre of Excellence. The Bremner project will receive $2 million in funding from the entity.
“Hydrogen is one in all Alberta’s most fun economic transformation opportunities,” Laura Kilcrease said, adding the funding is just the initial round of grants the centre shall be announcing. “All of the pieces that make a hydrogen economy work come together right here.
“We now have the expertise, the prevailing production, the pipeline infrastructure… (and) the big gas reserves that we will use as feedstock for what we’re going to do.”
At the identical news conference, ATCO Gas president Jason Sharpe said his company decided to get entangled within the Bremner project because to get “according to Canada’s climate goals, ATCO has set decarbonization targets to enable net-zero emissions for our customers by 2050.”
“Central to that’s innovation,” he said. “Hydrogen is undoubtedly a gamechanger.”
“As we take a look at our current energy system and we take a look at where we’re taking energy in Canada — and the targets around net-zero by 2050 — we’ve really checked out what are those pathways for net-zero by 2050, and we imagine hydrogen is essential… To give you the chance to satisfy those goals.”
READ MORE: Alberta government invests $161M in clean hydrogen
Sharpe noted that production capability for hydrogen is especially impressive within the Edmonton area, which supplies the region a bonus when it comes to attempting to grow to be a pacesetter in developing hydrogen-powered homes.
Brad Armstrong, the vice-president of community development in northern Alberta for Qualico Communities, said planning and developing such a community “takes a protracted time” but noted his company has already been working with ATCO for a few years. He said the goal is to give you the chance to finish the groundwork for developing the community by the autumn of 2024 in order that the primary homeowners in the brand new community can move in in 2025.
“What we’re hearing from consumers is everyone has an interest in reducing their carbon footprint,” he said. “We occur to have land holdings in Strathcona County that make quite a lot of sense (for the reason that area is a hydrogen hub).
“It’s the appropriate thing to do… It helps put us on the trail towards net-zero in homebuilding and community development.”
READ MORE: Alberta truck drivers test out hydrogen-powered business vehicles
In a news release, the Alberta Hydrogen Centre of Excellence noted ATCO and Qualico are still within the strategy of “studying the logistics, technology requirements and other considerations involved in safely and affordably developing 100 per cent pure hydrogen communities.:
“Findings will reveal feasibility and contribute to designing this unique community,” the news release reads. “Bremner shall be Sherwood Park’s newest community, a Canadian first, and globally, the biggest scale project of its kind.”
At Tuesday’s news conference, Strathcona County’s mayor said he believes hydrogen can play a key role in helping Alberta to diversify its economy.
“Any announcement meaning more jobs and clean energy is a delight to be an element of,” Rod Frank said.
Kilcrease said with Canada already being one in all the planet’s top 10 producers of hydrogen, and Alberta being the commodity’s largest producer within the country,” the province is “very, very well-positioned” to grow to be a worldwide leader within the emerging sector.
For the primary round of grants awarded through a competitive application process, the Alberta Hydrogen Centre of Excellence said it received 68 proposals before choosing the 18 successful applicants.
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.