Hydrogen Centre of Excellence awards $20 million in hydrogen funding

The Alberta Hydrogen Centre of Excellence (HCOE) is awarding $20M to 18 successful projects to advance innovations in hydrogen through its first funding competition.

One of the successful projects is the proposed Bremner 100 per cent Hydrogen Community in Strathcona County, Alberta. Together, ATCO and Qualico are studying the logistics, technology requirements and other considerations involved in safely and affordably developing 100 per cent pure hydrogen communities – an important step towards eliminating carbon emissions that are produced when we heat our homes and use hot water. Findings will demonstrate feasibility and contribute to designing this unique community. A future home to 85,000 residents and to commercial and industrial businesses, Bremner will be Sherwood Park’s newest community, a Canadian first, and globally, the largest scale project of its kind.

Other successful projects in the competition will examine the safe and effective use of pipelines for hydrogen transmission. Another project will look at how to convert heavy-duty long-haul trucks to dual-fuel machines. In all, projects will examine everything from production, transmission, distribution, and storage, to end-uses of hydrogen.

Projects funded by Alberta Innovates will address:

  • Developing and deploying hydrogen-focused technologies;
  • Building a sustainable and self-sufficient clean hydrogen economy in Alberta; and
  • Increasing Alberta’s technology strength in clean hydrogen technology deployment.

A total of 68 project proposals were received, with 18 being chosen to move forward for a value of over $20 million. The HCOE will fund up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for the successful projects, or up to 75 per cent of eligible costs for projects led by post-secondary institutions, or those with a significant Indigenous component. The total value of the funded projects, including matching investments for project partners, is over $200 million. Projects have 24 months to complete their proposed work.

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Unlocking the potential of clean hydrogen is an essential part of the federal government’s plan for a prosperous economic future in Alberta and across Canada. I’m pleased to be working with the provincial government to realize that potential.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation, said: “Alberta has a reputation for applying technology to find solutions to complex problems. A perfect example of this is the exploration of hydrogen’s potential to provide affordable, reliable, clean energy; which reinforces Alberta’s reputation as a responsible, sustainable energy producer and supplier.”

Rod Frank, Mayor, Strathcona County, Albert, said: “Strathcona County is pleased about being home to a study that could lead to the first hydrogen community in North America. This is another showcase for our region’s strong hydrogen node. We’re proud to be part of preparing for a greener future, in a hydrogen economy that will contribute to safe, sustainable living, economic growth and job creation.”

Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates, said: “Alberta Innovates is pleased to announce the successful projects for the inaugural funding competition from the Hydrogen Centre of Excellence. We are at the forefront of the new hydrogen economy. The work these organizations undertake will position Alberta as a leader in hydrogen innovation. We’re excited to see the outcomes from these projects.”

Jason Sharpe, President, ATCO Gas, said: “The development of pure hydrogen communities could be the province’s most cost-effective pathway of decarbonizing home heating, leveraging Alberta’s existing natural gas infrastructure and the expertise of Albertans—a true win-win for Alberta. Building on our hydrogen expertise at home and abroad, ATCO is eager and ready to bring the innovation and technical know-how needed today to successfully ensure projects like Bremner become a reality.”

Brad Armstrong, Vice-President, Community Development – Northern Alberta, Qualico, said: “At Qualico, our purpose is simple, to help build better communities by driving sustainable change through innovation in planning, designing and building methods. Working with ATCO, we are taking that purpose to the next level by studying hydrogen as a zero-emissions energy for heating and hot water to understand how it may be incorporated into our newest residential community of Bremner, in Strathcona County and Sherwood Park.”

The Hydrogen Centre of Excellence will help make Alberta a world leader in the innovative production, deployment and use of hydrogen across our economy, acting as a connecting forum to bring together researchers, academics, innovators, industry, and various levels of government to enable Alberta achieve its hydrogen ambitions.

The Hydrogen Centre of Excellence is led by Alberta Innovates, with the applied research and engineering expertise of its two subsidiaries, InnoTech Alberta and C-FER Technologies. The centre is a funding program, testing and service facility, and forum for facilitating partnerships to de-risk hydrogen technology development.

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