Alberta awards $60 million to 31 bioenergy companies

By Anna Simet | February 14, 2017

Through its Bioenergy Producer Program, the government of Alberta has awarded $60 million to 31 different companies that have built or are in the process of constructing in-province bioenergy projects that lead to greenhouse gas reductions when compared to a conventional alternative.

Out of a total of 36 projects, two are ethanol, two are biodiesel, 15 are power, 13 are heat and four are wood pellets. Grant amounts range from $11,000 up to $4.8 million, sums determined by how much bioenergy each company generates. Red Deer, Alberta, ethanol producer Permolex Ltd. received $4.8 million while Enerkem Albert Biofuels in Edmonton received $526,4000.

Bioenergy products both produced and consumed by the facility may qualify for support, with the exception of gas products including biogas and syngas, which must be sold or delivered to a third party in Alberta to qualify for funding. 

In order to be eligible for funding, applicants must be located in Alberta, and must have been in production between April 1 and Oct. 25 of 2016. If the facility is under construction, it must demonstrate that it will be in production by July 1.

The government said the short-term program funding is aimed at sustaining current bioenergy operations while a third-party adviser and other stakeholders advise government on new policy options to support the industry, and build on a program that began in 2006. A report on the initiative is expected by the end of March.

As other emission reduction programs and initiatives in Alberta, money for the bioenergy grants will come from carbon revenues.

Alberta’s bioenergy industry powers the equivalent of 200,000 homes using wood pellets, biogas and liquid biofuels, contributing about $800 million to Alberta’s economy, according to the government.