Federal government invests in seven hydrogen-focused cleantech projects in Alberta

Aurora Hydrogen co-founders
Aurora Hydrogen, Quantiam Technologies, Innova Hydrogen receive a collective $5 million.

The federal government is investing $8.5 million into seven Canadian cleantech projects focused on hydrogen energy in Alberta.

Of this new investment, which is being made through Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), $5 million will be allocated to three projects in Alberta selected through the Energy Innovation Program’s (EIP) Clean Fuels and Industrial Fuel Switching call for proposals. The program aims to accelerate the development of technologies that can decarbonize industry.

Alberta, historically known for oil and gas, has invested heavily in hydrogen energy in recent months.

One of the companies receiving federal money through this allocation is Edmonton-based Aurora Hydrogen, which is developing clean hydrogen production technology that uses microwave energy. Aurora, which was founded in 2021 and raised $12.85 million in Series A funding in 2022, is receiving a total of $3 million in funding. 

Another Edmonton-based company, Quantiam Technologies, is receiving $1 million to support the production of carbon-negative methanol and fuels made from captured carbon dioxide and green hydrogen.

Calgary-based Innova Hydrogen is also receiving $1 million to produce hydrogen via catalytic methane pyrolysis, which is a process that decomposes methane into hydrogen gas and solid carbon using a catalyst.

The remaining projects are being funded through the EIP, and according to a statement from NRCan, are associated with the Hydrogen Centre of Excellence, an initiative being led by Alberta Innovates. Earlier this year, Alberta Innovates invested $22.5 million into 20 early-stage projects through the Hydrogen Centre of Excellence.

RELATED: Hydrogen power projects receive $57 million in funding from Alberta government

Alberta’s economy has long been dominated by oil and gas, but in recent years, the province has made hydrogen power a key focus of investment, even calling it the “next frontier” of energy. The provincial government aims to integrate clean hydrogen into the province’s domestic energy system for use in transportation, industry, heat, power generation, and renewable energy storage by 2030.

One of the other hydrogen projects being funded by NRCan this week is being completed by ATCO Gas and Pipelines in partnership with Qualico, It is a feasibility assessment of a pure hydrogen pipeline network to heat new homes in the community of Bremner, Alta., including constructing a pure-hydrogen demonstration home. That project received $1.3 million, and ATCO received an additional $500,000 for a separate project focused on developing the Fort Saskatchewan Operating Centre into a commercial hydrogen-heated building.

Another project, being led by Edmonton’s Innovative Fuel Systems, received $1.26 million to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles by developing a hydrogen and diesel dual-fuel retrofit system.

The new investments came alongside a $2.5-million investment through NRCan’s Enabling Small Modular Reactors (SMR) program. SMRs are a type of nuclear fission reactor, designed to be shipped to operational sites and used to power buildings or other commercial operations. The Universities of Regina and Alberta received funding for projects focused on waste management and materials manufacturing for small modular reactors.

Feature image courtesy of Aurora Hydrogen.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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