Calgary, November 1, 2021 —Alberta Ecotrust Foundation, a charitable foundation that provides funding for water protection, land use and climate change projects across Alberta, announced the inaugural 2021 grant recipients of its Climate Innovation Fund. Charitable organizations, municipalities, associations, and nonprofits will receive over $900,000 thousand ($930,710) in grants for 18 varied projects that will improve these urban centres’ resilience to climate change and support economic growth in the province.
“We know that Calgary and Edmonton need support to address climate change. The cities are not in this alone. That is why we offer funding to a variety of organizations for local low-carbon solutions. This grant supports those working on issues related to systemic changes in the building and transportation sectors and for initiatives that support the transformation of our energy system.“ – Mike Mellross, Program Director, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation
Alberta Ecotrust Foundation received 35 expressions of interest in this grants cycle with requests for funding over $1.8M. The projects selected this year by the Grants Committee and approved by the Foundation include a diverse range of initiatives to address gaps in electric vehicle charging for residential buildings, energy efficiency for new homes, policy tools to create low carbon, liveable communities and the implementation of renewable energy.
This round of the Climate Innovation Fund recipients span diverse backgrounds and disciplines, from research institutes, community associations, charitable organizations, and municipalities, each offering innovative solutions and projects in Calgary and Edmonton:
Alberta Energy Efficiency Association: Their project, Integrating Demand Side Management into the Utility System, will quantify the benefits of utilizing Demand Side Management in Alberta’s utility system to facilitate support for the policy and legislative changes needed to enable Demand Side Management.
Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley: Their project, Community Generation: The Micro-Generation Business Model, aims to increase the achievability and market viability of community generation by installing a community generation demonstration project under the micro-generation electricity model in the heart of Calgary.
City of Calgary: Their project, Future Climate Tools to Support Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Building Design, will translate complex, high-level climate models into a typical future weather year format that can be readily applied to the energy modelling and building design process for infrastructure built by the City of Calgary.
Passive House Alberta: Their project, Investigating Two Stepping Stones to Mass Electrification and Deep Energy Retrofits, aims to increase and simplify the adoption of whole house Air Admittance Valves and optimize electrification through the increased use of load share devices and “smart” electrical panels, to advance the implementation of Deep Energy Retrofits (DERs) in residential buildings.
Pembina Institute: Their project, Enabling Accessible EV Charging in Calgary’s Multi-Unit Residential Buildings, will engage a network of partners and pilot an EV charger installation project in MURBs, accompanied by programs and resources to build capacity among various stakeholders to facilitate the sale up of EV charger installations.
Renfrew Community Association: Their project, Renfrew Solar Bond Program, will create a solar community bond business model, stemming from the Renfrew Solar Garden development, to enable community engagement and investment for other local solar PV projects.
SunAlta Power Inc: Their project, Urban Rooftop Solar PV Distribution-connected Generation Pilot Project, will demonstrate that urban space can be utilized for Distribution-Connected Generation solar PV projects in Alberta, and contribute to the development of a business model to scale up projects.
Volta Research Inc: Their project, Grid Sandbox, will create a platform that connects households, utilities, and regulators to explore how Distributed Energy Resources (DER) (like EV charging stations and solar PV) can be sustainably managed to facilitate the scale up and coordination of DER implementation.
Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance Society: Their project, New Approach to Energy Efficiency in New Homes, explores the potential to improve the quality of new residential building stock by leveraging municipal financing programs.
All One Sky Foundation: Their project, Ensuring Subsidized Housing is part of a Just and Equitable Transition to a Low-carbon Future, will work directly with affordable housing providers to complete energy audits of their buildings and a report of proposed measures and the associated cost. The project will further explore financing options and barriers.
Board of Governors of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology: Their project, Remote Work: An In-Depth Assessment of Impacts at Community and Municipal Levels, will build on previous work to study the greenhouse gas emission reduction from the shift to remote working in Edmonton. They propose to engage companies on the design of their remote work policies.
City of Edmonton: Their project, Research on Electric Vehicle Transition for the City of Edmonton’s Municipal Light Duty Fleet, will develop a plan for The City’s light duty fleet to transition to electric. The plan would look at barriers and opportunities with respect to building types and the electrical grid capacity.
Climate Action Edmonton Committee: Their project, Retrofit Roadmap, will create a database of net zero projects and develop a roadmap for similar buildings to complete net zero retrofits.
Community Energy Association: Their project, Policy Tools for Achieving Low-Energy and Emission Neutral New Buildings in Edmonton, will conduct legal reviews of the regulatory environment governing municipalities and their ability to regulate building standards.
Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues: Their project, Net Zero Pathways for Edmonton Community Leagues, will support community leagues to get building energy audits completed that focus on the path to net zero. The next step would be to assist the leagues in applying for federal funding to complete the actions in the audit.
Green Violin Community Development Company: Their project, 3D Printed Homes to Reduce GHG Emissions in the New Home Construction Industry, will research the potential GHG savings from building new homes using 3D printed concrete technology. The team is also positioned to build a demonstration home using the technology.
Newo Global Energy: Their project, Wêyôtan: The Abundance Project, builds on previous work to train and employ indigenous people in energy efficiency and solar installations. Newo is proposing a community investment model that focuses on the social returns of their work. Partnership with SPICE.
Volta Research Inc: Their project, Mini Energy Audit and Collaboration Tool for Affordable Deep Emissions Reductions on Residential Homes, will develop a tool to engage homeowners to perform mini-audits of their homes and maximize the time and effort of the certified energy auditor.
“The CIF grant from Alberta Ecotrust provides us with seed funding that allows the Institute to start engagement of private and public sector partners, collaboratively design the demonstration project in a manner that is equitable and allows various stakeholders to gain valuable lessons, as well as share the learnings widely through Calgary and beyond. Enabling EV charging in apartments allows more Albertans to literally bring home the important energy transition that is happening around the world.” – Binnu Jeyakumar, Director, Clean Energy, Pembina Institute
“We need to better understand the materials and technologies we are utilizing in the housing economy to reduce our footprint. We will research the potential emissions savings from building new homes using 3D printed concrete technology vs. traditional methods and materials. The project also has significant co-benefits as we demonstrate this technology in a Veterans Village in the neighbourhood of Evansdale to provide economical, efficient pocket homes in an infill neighborhood that can help our veterans transition to permanent housing and live in harmony within our neighbourhoods again.” – Yasushi Ohki, Executive Director, Green Violin Development Company
Collectively these projects have the potential to enable the reduction or avoidance of 86 MtCO2e greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years. This is the equivalent of nearly 900 windmills producing renewable energy over 20 years. In addition, projects were evaluated based on the co-benefits they catalyzed such as their contribution to climate adaptation.
For instance, the City of Calgary’s Future Climate Tools to Support Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Building Design results in design guidelines that will reduce emissions and improve resilience of the building stock when applied. Social equity was also key evaluation criteria, attracting projects such as Green Violin’s 3D printed house which will provide an affordable home to an Edmonton veteran in need.
Alberta Ecotrust Foundation would like to thank its additional funders including the Edmonton Community Foundation and City of Edmonton whose contributions increased the granting capacity in Edmonton by $200,000 in 2021. The multi-year commitments from these organizations will continue to provide funding for 2022 and 2023. All of the projects directly link to policy directions in the City of Calgary and City of Edmonton’s climate action plans.
Alberta Ecotrust Foundation is committed to increasing the capacity of the charitable and nonprofit sectors to advance transformative projects for urban climate solutions. As such, Alberta Ecotrust will be launching its next grant program in the spring of 2022, where they will offer upwards of $1M in funding to organizations working on emissions reductions projects in Calgary and Edmonton.
About the Climate Innovation Fund
Alberta Ecotrust Foundation is a founding member of the Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) network, implemented in partnership among seven local centres across Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Funded by the Government of Canada, LC3 is part of a national investment in municipal climate action to accelerate urban climate solutions and to meet Canada’s 2030 and 2050 carbon reduction targets.
As an LC3 centre, Alberta Ecotrust received a $43.4 million endowment from the federal government to create the Climate Innovation Fund. The Fund provides programming in Calgary and Edmonton, taking on a nimble, accelerator role, complementing and advancing the leadership work undertaken by the municipalities. For more information, visit albertaecotrust.com.
For more information, please contact:
Hailey Gish, Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org