An estimated 1,000 oil- and gas-fired power plants across Alberta could soon have a projector in their buildings, thanks to an investment by the provincial government and private firms.
“It’s not an ideal situation,” said Brad McCutchen, president of the Calgary-based energy consulting firm Energy Solutions, which specializes in developing technology for the industry.
But the potential for more efficient, more reliable energy delivery means companies and governments are investing to improve it.
The province and private developers, for example, have teamed up to design and build a projector for the newly opened Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.
The new projector will cost about $600,000 to $800,000.
Enbridge is currently developing its own project, but McCutchens said Enbridge’s projector will be the first of its kind in Alberta.
The Alberta government and Enbridge have agreed to provide the provincial energy and environment ministry with $1 billion to develop the projector.
The projector is a part of the province’s $2.2-billion energy infrastructure program, which includes $600 million in new renewable-energy projects, the creation of a new provincial energy bank and a $500-million partnership with the Calgary Flames to provide up to $400 million of new financing to help power Alberta’s energy-hungry industries.
“The government is very excited about the project,” said Energy Solutions executive director John Kavadakis.
Enbridge has already been working on the projector for more than a year, as part of a wider $2-million project to develop a new pipeline for the Northern Gateway project. “
What this project does is create jobs and it’s a big boost to the energy economy.”
Enbridge has already been working on the projector for more than a year, as part of a wider $2-million project to develop a new pipeline for the Northern Gateway project.
“We have been very much focused on our partnership with Energy Solutions for a long time,” said Envisage president and CEO Mike Fagan.
“They have been one of the leading proponents of this project.”
In the years since the province approved Enbridge to build its pipeline, the province has spent $1 million on its own projector, which has since been converted to a more efficient projection system for other projects.
“I think it’s going to be an exciting time,” McCutchets said.
McCutches said that while Enbridge might be able to build a new projector, the company would be investing heavily in new infrastructure. “
But it’s certainly something that is going to go a long way to making the Alberta energy sector more efficient.”
McCutches said that while Enbridge might be able to build a new projector, the company would be investing heavily in new infrastructure.
“That’s something we’ll be talking about as we continue to work with the Alberta government,” he said.
Envisages projector could also have other applications.
Envirofusion, which designs and builds the technology, is currently working on a projector that would power the lights in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Edmonton, as well as the city’s city hall, as the province is exploring a $300-million upgrade to the downtown core.
“Envisage has a tremendous amount of expertise in the energy efficiency of projection,” said Doug Beaudoin, CEO of Envisagedirect, a company that develops and sells energy-efficient projection systems.
“At this point, we have seen a significant increase in the adoption of new technology and we’re working very hard to ensure that we’re still delivering the same quality of energy in the future.”