Thursday, January 31, 2013

Vestas inks Tower Supply Agreement with undisclosed party to supply towers for North American wind power projects

This week Vestas announced signature of a Tower Supply Agreement to supply towers for a number of non-Vestas wind power projects over the next two years. The name of the developer or manufacturer which signed the Tower Supply Agreement with Vestas was not released.

The Tower Supply Agreement will see Vestas ramp up at its tower factory in Pueblo, Colorado, USA. Vestas soon will begin manufacturing the first phase of the Tower Supply Agreement that could use up to 25 percent of the production capacity. The agreement will create more than 100 jobs by the end of the first quarter of 2013. The Vestas facility can produce almost 1,500 towers a year, Vestas Chief Operating Officer Jean-Marc Lechene said this week.

Vestas is branching into tower manufacturing for external customers to boost revenue after overcapacity among turbine producers wiped out profit at the Danish company. Vestas and its competitors have cut jobs and withdrawn from weaker markets to reduce costs as wind-industry growth slows.

The Tower Supply Agreement, announced yesterday, marks the first time Aarhus, Denmark-based Vestas has sold the support structures to a competitor. The deal is with a single client, an American company with multiple projects, Lechene said, declining to identify the client or disclose financial terms. Vestas has also secured smaller deals for metal-cast components with non-wind customers, he said.

“Vestas is continuously evaluating its manufacturing footprint and opportunities to utilise the current production capacity better. Producing components for third parties is part of this strategy, and although we have had other smaller orders, this new agreement is the first major step in realising this plan,” Lechene said.

“Our tower factory employees are very excited about this new order,” said Tony Knopp, Vice President of Vestas Towers America, Inc., in Pueblo. “The extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) at the beginning of the year also was an important factor in securing this contract, and we are now in the process of evaluating our ramp-up plan.”

Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters, Vestas Press Release

Monday, January 28, 2013

University of Saskatchewan professor wins national award for solar energy research

Ronald Steer a professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon has been awarded the annual Canadian Society for Chemistry’s John C. Polanyi Award for his research which is leading to new insights in the field of solar energy.

Steer and his team are attempting to make organic photovoltaics, also known as dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), a more efficient source of electricity.

Typically organic solar cells are around 10 per cent efficient and Steer says they are making great strides towards increases the amount of sunlight that is absorbed and converted into usable power.

“We have the proof of principle and soon we’ll be at the stage of having working devices,” said Steer.

“If we can achieve even the slightest increase, even one or two per cent efficiency of these cells, it could be beneficial to everyone.”

The team is also working on incorporating tougher materials such as carbon nanotubes to create a more durable, longer-lasting cell.

Not only was Steer awarded an Earned Doctor of Science at the University of Saskatchewan he has also been in their Department of Chemistry in Saskatoon since 1969.

Congratulations Professor Steer! Keep up the good work.

Source: Global News

Thursday, January 24, 2013

How many wind turbines does the Nordic region require in the next 27 years to meet stated GHG reduction goals?

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has proposed that the Nordic countries add more than 13,000 new wind turbines in order to achieve ambitious emissions-reduction schemes in the next three decades.

The proposal, part of a report presented on Tuesday, focused on wind power as a key to making the Nordics - Iceland, Finland and the Scandinavian countries - climate neutral by 2050.

The authors suggest that such an investment, along with upgrades to the grid, would cost 0.7 percent of the region's annual GDP - about $460 billion USD in total over the next 27 years, according to a calculation by Sveriges Radio (SR).

"In the global 2°C Scenario, energy-related CO2 emissions in the Nordic region must be reduced by 70 percent by 2050 compared to 1990," the report authors summarized.

The report suggested the use of fossil fuels be halved and account for only 20 percent of total electricity generation in the future.

In order to do so, relying on extensive wind generation "needs to grow particularly quickly and alone accounts for 25 percent of electricity generation in 2050."

Such a move, however, would place demands on refurbishing parts of the distribution network.

"This will increase the need for flexible generation capacity, grid interconnections, demand response and storage," the report authors wrote.

They highlighted that the region's access to hydropower and ambitious domestic targets were in the Nordic countries' favour in achieving climate neutrality.

Yet, Swedish industry association Svensk Energi noted in a response that wind turbines are still not completely accepted in Sweden.

Chair Kjell Jansson told SR there needed to be more focus on the technology from the politicians' side.

"I think with today's attitude it would be difficult to put this in place," he said.

"One has to accept new things, for example turbines in places where people now resist them, if we are to meet our climate target."

Sources: IEA, The

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ikea to double its spending on renewable energy to $4 billion USD: part of Ikea's plan to get all the energy used at its stores and by subcontractors from renewable sources by 2020

Ikea Group, the world's biggest furniture retailer, will double its investment in renewable energy to $4 billion USD by 2020 as part of a drive to reduce costs as cash-strapped consumers become more price sensitive.

The additional spending on projects such as wind farms and solar parks will be needed to keep expenses down as the company maintains its pace of expansion, Chief Executive Mikael Ohlsson said in an interview in Malmo, Sweden.

"I foresee we'll continue to increase our investments in renewable energy," said Ohlsson, who plans to step down this year after 3 1/2 years at the helm. "Looking at how quickly we're expanding and our value chain, we will most likely have to double the investments once more after 2015."

Companies such as sportswear maker Puma and drinks producer PepsiCo Inc. are expanding efforts to cut their use of scarce resources as they jostle for customers. Prices for wind turbines sank 23% in the three years that ended in June, while solar panels have tumbled by more than half in two years, making projects cost-effective, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Ikea plans to get 100% of the energy consumed at its stores and by subcontractors from renewable sources by 2020. The Swedish company owns 250,000 solar panels, mainly in the U.S., and invested in 126 wind turbines in northern Europe to cover 34% of its energy consumption.

Ohlsson said the retailer will have opportunities for "strong growth" in Europe for "many years to come" because many customers still do not have an Ikea store near them.

Sales in 2012 rose 9.5% to 27.6 billion EUR ($36.7 billion USD), the company said in a release, while net income increased 8% to 3.2 billion EUR.
In October, Ikea said it planned to more than double spending on wind farms and solar parks to as much as $2 billion USD to have the company cover more than 70% of its energy consumption by renewable sources in 2015 and protect it from volatile fossil-fuel prices.

The retailer is expanding its product range for customers to live more sustainable lives themselves, focusing on waste handling and cutting energy and water use.

"For now, we're mainly focusing on the big parts of resource use at home," Ohlsson said, adding that Ikea is testing some solar solutions for customers in Britain.

Source: Bloomberg

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

City of Saskatoon approves Power Purchase Agreement with SaskPower for $7.7 million CAD landfill gas project

City Council in Saskatoon has approved the final step towards a $7.7 million CAD project to collect methane gas from Saskatoon's landfill and convert that into electricity. The city of Saskatoon has been working since 2008 to develop a landfill gas collection system. The city of Saskatoon is expected to recover the cost of the landfill gas project after 9 years. "Because the numbers do make sense it's a good thing for us," said Troy Davies, Ward 4 city councillor.
Kevin Hudson, manager of metering and sustainable electricity with Saskatoon Light & Power, says the project is one way to reduce harmful greenhouse gases. "With the gas that we're capturing, it's equivalent to reducing our emissions by about 45 thousand tons annually," Hudson explained. "That's like removing about nine thousand vehicles from our roadways." According to Hudson, in many jurisdictions in North America, landfills are required to manage landfill gas so it is not released into the atmosphere.

Saskatoon city council has approved the sale of the electricity generated by the landfill gas project to SaskPower pursuant to a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement. In 20 years, according to the city, the overall project will have made a return to Saskatoon of $8.4 million CAD after taking into account the cost of building the system.

The city of Saskatoon estimates it will sell about $1 million CAD worth of electricity in its first full year of production, which is expected in 2014. Construction on the project is approximately 50% complete.

Additional information about this exciting project and the Green Energy Park in Saskatoon is available here:

Friday, January 18, 2013

SaskPower and Black Lake First Nation submit Federal EA determination request for Elizabeth Falls Hydroelectric Project in Northern Saskatchewan

As part of the amended Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) put in place to support the government's responsible resource development initiative, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency must determine whether a federal environmental assessment is required for the proposed Elizabeth Falls Hydroelectric Project located in northern Saskatchewan. To assist it in making its decision, the Agency is seeking comments from the public on the project and its potential effects on the environment.

Black Lake First Nation and Saskatchewan Power Corporation are proposing the construction and operation of a 42 to 50 megawatt water diversion type electrical generating station at Elizabeth Falls. The proposed project would be located adjacent to the Fond du Lac River between Black Lake and Middle Lake, on Black Lake First Nation Reserve lands in northern Saskatchewan. The proposed project would involve the construction and operation of a water intake tunnel, a powerhouse, a switching station, a tail race, a construction camp, a bridge, access roads, and a transmission line.

A link to the summary of the Elizabeth Falls Hydroelectric Project is below:

The Agency will post a decision on its website stating whether a federal environmental assessment is required for the Elizabeth Falls Hydroelectric Project. If it is determined that a federal environmental assessment is required, the public will have three more opportunities to comment on this project, consistent with the transparency and public engagement elements of CEAA 2012.

CanBio Community Heat & Power and Bioeconomy mission to Finland for Wood Energy Solutions 2013 - February 11-15, 2013

Qualifying Canadian participants will receive travel grants of about $1,200 CAD for companies (1 grant per company), and up to 50% of eligible expenses for non-profit organizations (2 grants per organization) through DFAIT's GOA (Global Opportunities for Associations) program.

Click here to view the draft program for the mission

CanBio will bring a delegation to the Wood Energy Solutions Conference and Tour February 11-15, 2013 to learn the latest in Finnish community biomass energy and supply chain enhancements in a conference setting, and then see installations firsthand.  We will find out what’s new in the European bioeconomy, meet with potential European partners in Canadian bioeconomy development, and. The mission will include:
  • A 2-day conference in Koli National Park, where delegates will network with key European bioeconomy companies and stakeholders. The conference program will focus on key issues, including community energy, biorefining, biomass sustainability and trade, and more;
  • 2.5 days of tours, including visits to district energy installations of various size, a micro-scale CHP installation (30 kWe), Fortum’s pyrolysis oil plant (integrated with large-scale CHP), a Ponsse manufacturing facility, several supply chain demonstrations, a pellet and raw biomass research centre, and more (including more bioeconomy-related visits). There is also the possibility of visiting a Gasek installation;
  • A ½ day course on the dos and don'ts of district energy projects by Dr. Arto Nuorkivi, leading expert in CHP, district heating, and energy efficiency.
Registration includes a conference dinner featuring Karelian cuisine as well as a post-conference Finnish winter experience and the obligatory sauna!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Why integrate renewable energy generation with your mining operation?

A synergy is created when renewable energy systems are integrated into existing and planned mining operations. This is of particular interest to remote or otherwise off-grid operations that are faced with expensive logistical challenges and environmental hurdles associated with transporting fuel over large distances to be used for on-site thermal generation or constructing expensive transmission infrastructure to bring on-grid power to their operations. Wasted energy is also an unnecessary cost.  Having a comprehensive energy strategy is key to cost effective mining operations.

Mining operators need an uninterrupted, cost-effective means of supplying energy to power their operations. Developers and operators may need to rely on higher cost coal-fired, oil and diesel generation can offset their carbon footprint and the risk of price escalation and security of hydrocarbon fuel supplies by integrating renewable energy schemes into their mine plans. Some of the plentiful and lasting potential benefits of renewable energy include the following:
  • Creation of a legacy resource, which will carry the mine through operations and may be shared with or co-managed with neighboring communities, fostering enduring relationships and good will (this is particularly beneficial for projects located in developing nations where clean power generation is rare or too costly for communities to develop on their own)
  • Opportunity for mining operations to distinguish themselves as sustainable ventures that are favorable to shareholders, community stakeholders, government regulators and environmental NGOs
  • Reduced dependence on volatile fuel prices and insecure supplies
  • Reduced carbon footprints
  • Opportunity to offset greenhouse gas emissions and to take part in the emerging carbon economy
Source: (in part) Knight PiƩsold Consulting

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Greengate Power plans to start construction of Canada’s largest wind farm

Greengate Power, the Calgary-based developer expects to break ground in the spring on the 300MW Blackspring Ridge 1 project in Alberta, Greengate president and CEO Dan Balaban told reNews.

“We’re in the process of finalizing the engineering and the financing of the project,” said Balaban. “We expect to be under construction later this year and be fully operational in the first part of 2014.”

Alberta regulators last week approved a switch in turbines to the Vestas V100 1.8MW machine from the V90 model. The Danish manufacturer is expected to begin delivery of 166 turbines in the third quarter, said Balaban. Mortenson was named general contractor.

Blackspring Ridge 1, located about 165 kilometers southeast of Calgary, will tie into an existing 240kV transmission line via a six- to eight-mile wire that runs almost entirely through the project site. The Alberta Utilities Commission is reviewing an interconnection application by transmission facility operator AltaLink.

“We expect approval of that permit imminently,” said Balaban.

Blackspring Ridge is Greengate’s second wind farm. Capital Power in 2011 bought the 150MW Halkirk project, which achieved commercial operation in December.

Greengate won 20-year deals with Pacific Gas & Electric of California for renewable energy credits from the Blackspring Ridge and Halkirk wind projects.

Source: reNews

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

VTT of Finland commercializing process for cogeneration of bio-oil and heat

A technique that enables the cost-effective cogeneration of heating energy and bio-oil in the same power plant has been developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, along with the Finnish energy company Fortum, Finnish engineering company Metso and Finnish forest products producer UPM. VTT’s technique is based on combining pyrolysis and fluidized bed technology.

VTT feels the new technique will contribute to an increase in bio-oil production volumes in the next few decades. VTT received an innovation award for the new technology from the European Association for Research and Technology Organisations EARTO.
The new technique patented by VTT enables a considerable cut in the production cost of bio-oil.

Fast pyrolysis involves heating biomass such as forest industry waste to a high temperature to form gas. When the gas is cooled, it condenses into liquid known as bio-oil. Combining the pyrolysis process with traditional fluidised bed boilers used in power plants brings a range of efficiency gains, VTT explains. Producing bio-oil with the new technique is cheaper than in a separate pyrolysis process.

Bio-oil plants that are integrated into power plants are extremely energy-efficient, because the energy contained in the by-products of the pyrolysis process can be recovered in fluidized bed boilers. This is a significant improvement, because the by-products can contain as much as 40% of the original biomass’s energy. In turn, lost heat from the power plant can be used in the bio-oil production process.

The technique is due to enter commercial production towards the end of 2013 when the energy company Fortum opens its new integrated bio-oil and heating plant in the city of Joensuu in Finland. The plant is designed to produce 50,000 tonnes of bio-oil per year.

According to VTT, there are currently around 200 power plants in Europe and North America (including many in Canada) that could be converted to include a bio-oil plant.

Source: VTT, Pulp and Paper Canada

Monday, January 14, 2013

A new twist on anti-wind litigation: the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Interesting article by Diane Saxe on anti-wind litigation at

Because of the social, environmental, and political importance of reducing carbon emissions and switching to renewable sources of energy, the Environmental Protection Act  in the Canadian province of Ontario requires wind opponents to show that a renewable energy project will cause serious harm to human health, or serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the natural environment. Every case to date in Ontario has failed to meet this threshold and one can sense desperation by anti-wind groups.

Accordingly, the latest anti-wind tactic is to claim that the threshold itself is unconstitutional, i.e. that anti-wind proponents have a right, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to stop all wind turbines within 2 km of their home, without having to prove the probability of harm. Diane Saxe, on her blog has provided a link to a Statement of Claim Filed November 14. 2012 between Drennan and K2 Wind -

In the claim, Shawn and Trisha Drennan have requested $4 million CAD in damages plus an injunction to prevent K2 Wind Ontario Inc. from obtaining a renewable energy approval from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for its proposed wind farm in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, Ontario. 90 local landowners have leased their land for the project. Mr. and Mrs. Drennan claim that constructing a wind farm within 2 km of their home will create a nuisance, make them ill, and reduce their property values.

An interlocutory injunction is scheduled to be heard on February 6, 2013 in Goderich, Ontario. Meanwhile, the province of Ontario is seeking summary judgment to dismiss the action.

Source: Diane Saxe,

Thursday, January 10, 2013

AMG aims to recycle wastewater from oil drilling using new process

Apex Management Group LLC (AMG) a San Antonio-based oil-field services management company is rolling out an oil-field technology aimed at recycling contaminated wastewater generated during production.

This process could remove toxic chemicals from the wastewater so it could be reused in the drilling process, eliminating the need for using fresh water for each well, said David Akin, CEO and president of . However, the company hasn’t yet filed permission with the state agency that governs the oil and gas industry.

The new process is used in northwestern Oklahoma in the Mississippi Lime rock formation, Akin said. This area has seen a boom in oil drilling, particularly by SandRidge Energy, Chesapeake Energy and Devon Energy. Akin declined to state which large independent company was contracting his services, due to a non-disclosure agreement.

In that area, exploration and production companies must use millions of gallons of fresh water during part of the drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. A company typically pumps about 4 million to 6 million gallons of water per well, as well as thousands of pounds of sand and tens of thousands of gallons of chemicals deep into underground rock formations. Fracking, combined with horizontal drilling, is credited with the current boom, and taps oil and gas resources that were previously regarded as unobtainable.

The Mississippi Lime formation also has lots of highly salty water with the oil and gas. Producers must dispose of millions of gallons of saltwater mixed with flow-back water that flows back up to the surface from a frack job. There is so much contaminated water produced in the area, SandRidge is drilling one disposal well for every eight petroleum wells and Devon is drilling one disposal well for every 10 petroleum wells.

With so much contaminated water, companies are looking for a way to turn that waste product into a resource. Akin said his process is more efficient than existing technology using centrifuges or filters to clean flow-back water.

Akin said the process uses methane gas that would otherwise be flared into the atmosphere to power natural gas turbines. The turbines are similar to helicopter engines that are frequently used in hospitals and in universities. The turbines superheat the contaminated water, similar to a distilling process. Though the end product isn’t drinkable, Akin said, it is clean enough to be used in fracking jobs.

He declined to state exactly how much his company spent to develop the process, but said that it was in the millions of dollars. Apex spent about three years developing and refining the recycling process, and has been operating a beta test of sorts with one company for about a year and a half.

In recent years, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has modified and created new rules for companies developing processes for recycling water used in drilling operations. Last year, the agency had at least three cases looking at the process of commercial soil farming.

The process of soil farming combines waste mud laced with petroleum chemicals used in drilling with fertilizer and crushed gypsum rock and spreads it on farmland. The drilling mud in question must be tested to ensure that it doesn’t contain high levels of salts, heavy metals or petroleum products. Akin said residual material recovered from the recycling process is superheated to remove chemicals and could be used in soil farming operations.

Matt Skinner, spokesman from the OCC, said Apex’s technology would likely be covered under existing rules for recycling flow-back water. If the residual material removed from the water process meets acceptable levels, it could be used in commercial soil farming operations. The agency hasn’t yet received any applications from the company.

Sources: Dolan Media Newswires, Lexis Nexis,

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gamesa wins order for 54 MW wind farm from TuuliWatti in Finland

Bloomberg has just reported a few moments ago that Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA, Spain’s largest wind turbine maker, won a 54 MW order from Finland’s TuuliWatti Oy, expanding its presence in a market it entered last year.

The order for 12 of Gamesa’s G128 4.5-megawatt machines forms part of a 117 MW framework agreement signed in October, the Zamudio-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. The machines are specially designed to operate in low temperatures, it said.

“Finland is considered one of the most promising growth markets in the European wind energy business in coming years,” Gamesa said in the statement.

Finland is targeting 2,500 megawatts of installed wind capacity in 2020, up from about 200 megawatts now, according to Gamesa. Gamesa on October 25 said it’s concentrating on new markets, especially in Latin America, as it adjusts to a global market this year that it forecasts will include a 12 percent drop in installations.

All except one of the turbines announced in today’s deal will be installed this year, with the last in 2014, Gamesa said. The order follows an 18-megawatt deal with the same client on October 11 that isn’t included in the 117 MW framework agreement.

The deal includes a 10-year operation and maintenance contract, with an option to extend it by five years, according to the statement. TuuliWatti is a venture between Finland’s St1 Oy and S-Group.

Source: Bloomberg

Finland's largest wind farm to be built in Pori

The town of Pori on the Western coast of Finland will soon be home to Finland’s largest wind farm.

Finnish developer, Tulliwatti will construct a 54 MW wind power facility just to the north of the town of Pori. Commercial operation is expected by the end of summer 2015. The project is a joint venture between Finnish utilities St1 and S-Voima who are investing a combined total of 75 million EUR to build the project.

A total of twelve 4.5 MW wind turbines will be built on the site. The wind turbine supplier has not yet been announced.

The Pori region of western Finland is of prime significance for Tuuliwatti. Tuuliwatti began wind power production in the area with a 3 MW facility back in 2010. Tuuliwatti is also constructing wind power plants in other parts of the region.

Source: Yle

Monday, January 7, 2013

Electricity sector planning and supply scenarios for Saskatchewan, Canada

Lisa White, P. Eng., M.Sc. and Ph.D. Candidate at the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon recently published "Strategic environmental assessment in the electricity sector: An application to electricity supply planning, Saskatchewan, Canada" in the Journal of Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal which can be accessed with the following link:

In the article a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) framework for electricity sector planning is developed and applied to evaluate electricity supply scenarios for Saskatchewan, Canada. The overall goal of the SEA application was to identify a preferred future electricity production path, demonstrate the application of a quantitative SEA process that operationalizes sustainability principles through the use of assessment criteria, and examine the methodological implications resulting from the application of a structured SEA framework.

Results of the application identified a renewables-focused electricity supply preference, but with several implications for electricity sector investment and sustainability, including increased infrastructure requirements and increased cost of electricity.

Results also demonstrate a practical approach to the operationalization of sustainability through the application of assessment criteria that are linked to higher level principles. The use of structure in the SEA process provided for replicability, transparency and the ability to quantify issues of uncertainty in Plan, program and policy (PPP) decision-making, while at the same time maintaining flexibility to tailor the SEA framework to the electricity sector context.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Quanta Services/Valard Construction awarded SaskPower contract to build 300 km Island Falls to Key Lake transmission line in Northern Saskatchewan

Quanta Services, Inc. announced by way of a Press Release yesterday that SaskPower has selected Valard Construction, a Quanta Services company, to install transmission infrastructure for the Island Falls to Key Lake Transmission Line Project. Under the terms of the contract, Valard will build approximately 300 kilometers of 230-kilovolt transmission line in northern Saskatchewan. The project scope includes foundation construction, installation of approximately 900 transmission towers, wire stringing and related project management.

"Growing economic development in northern Saskatchewan has created an increased need for power. SaskPower is investing in its electricity system to ensure it meets the power needs for our region, today and in the future," said Robert Watson, president and chief executive officer of SaskPower.

To minimize environmental impact, the route of the new transmission line will parallel an existing SaskPower transmission line. Valard has initiated engineering activities and the project is expected to be complete in the spring of 2015. Once in service, the new transmission line should increase reliability and provide infrastructure to meet the growing demand for power in northern Saskatchewan.

"Valard opened a corporate office in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan last year as part of our ongoing commitment to Saskatchewan," said Adam Budzinski, president of Valard. "We look forward to constructing the Island Falls to Key Lake project and participating in the exciting growth of the province."

Source: Quanta Services, Inc. and SaskPower Press Release

SaskPower and Cenovus sign 10-year CO2 Supply Agreement

SaskPower has signed a 10 year agreement with Cenovus Energy for the purchase of carbon dioxide (CO2) from SaskPower’s $1.24 billion CAD carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility under construction at Boundary Dam Power Station, near Estevan, Saskatchewan.

The Regina Leader Post reports that under the terms of the agreement, Cenovus will purchase the full volume of the CO2 captured at SaskPower’s facility - approximately one million tonnes per year - and use it for the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project operated by Cenovus near Weyburn, Saskatchewan. SaskPower’s facility is considered the world’s first and largest commercial-scale, coal-fired integrated CCS project.

SaskPower president and CEO Robert Watson said the CCS project at Boundary Dam’s Unit 3 was predicated on being able to sell the captured CO2 to oil companies for EOR projects, which would made the economics of clean coal comparable to that of combined-cycle natural gas power plants.
The value of the CO2 Supply Agreement is not being disclosed.

The Regina Leader Post further report that SaskPower anticipates more CO2 sales in future as additional capacity comes on stream from Boundary Dam and SaskPower’s $60 million CAD carbon capture test facility at its Shand Power Station. SaskPower will decide in 2016 or 2017 whether to convert Units 4 and 5 at Boundary Dam to clean coal facilities, which can reduce CO2 emissions by 90 percent.

Cenovus and its partners have been using CO2 from the Dakota Gasification Corp. (DGC) plant in Beulah, North Dakota, USA for 10 years in their Weyburn EOR field.

Cenovus expects to be ready to accept the CO2 when SaskPower’s integrated carbon capture and storage facility goes into commercial operation in April 1, 2014. Cenovus will likely start building the pipeline required for the CO2 immediately. Jessica Wilkinson, a spokesperson for Cenovus, said the company will start talking to landowners and stakeholders in the area prior to construction of the 70 km pipeline from Estevan to Weyburn. “The agreement includes the construction of an additional line that would go from SaskPower’s Boundary Dam facility to our Weyburn (EOR) facility. Cenovus would build and operate that pipeline."

Cenovus currently receives 5,500 tonnes of CO2 per day from DGC, which it injects into the reservoir, some of which is recycled. “To date, we’ve injected just over 18 million tonnes of CO2 in the reservoir,” Wilkinson said. “In 2011, we injected 4.2 million tonnes of CO2." The SaskPower contract would supply about one quarter of that amount annually.

Cenovus currently produces 27,000 barrels of oil per day from the Weyburn EOR project, of which 19,000 barrels a day is incremental production from CO2 injection and 8,000 barrels a day is from conventional production.

Source: Regina Leader Post