Ashlu Creek run-of-river power plant. Photo: Stephen Hui, Pembina Institute

Carbon Engineering and Innergex Renewable Energy site tours Clean tech and clean energy plants in B.C.

Apr. 20, 2016 12:00am Squamish, B.C. workshop - Invitation only

Photos: Innergex Renewable Energy's Ashlu Creek run-of-river power plant

Photos: Carbon Engineering plant

On April 20, Pembina Institute staff visited a pair of clean tech and clean energy plants in and around Squamish (in the territory of the Squamish Nation). Staff of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia joined us for the site tours.

Ashlu Creek powerhouse

The first stop was Innergex Renewable Energy's run-of-river power plant on Ashlu Creek, a tributary of the Squamish River. Commissioned in 2009, the $139-million hydroelectric facility has a capacity of 49.9 MW and produces an average of 265 GWh of electricity for sale to B.C. Hydro. The intake diverts water (up to 29 m3/s) from the creek into a 4.6-km tunnel and 1.6-km penstock. At the powerhouse downstream, the water is fed to three turbines before being returned to the creek.

Carbon Engineering plant

During our tour of the Carbon Engineering plant in Squamish, we learned about the clean tech startup's efforts to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it to solid calcium carbonate. The idea is to use the pure carbon dioxide extracted from these pellets to produce low-carbon-intensity fuels. CE's technology "in effect recycles the emissions for reuse in fuel production," the company's site states. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates is one of CE's investors.

Air contactor

Carbon Engineering and Innergex are among the more than 160 B.C. businesses that signed an open letter calling on the B.C. government to commit to strengthening the province’s carbon tax as part of the Climate Leadership Plan.


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