Power Up
Dec. 12, 2013

New Alberta biofuel plant largest of its kind in Canada
CBC News
A company in southern Alberta is turning manure and other farm waste into money, with government help. Lethbridge Biogas says its $30 million plant, which produces electricity, is the largest project of its type in Canada. Stefan Michalski, a company spokesman, says it can make enough electricity to power 2,800 homes, and has the capacity to expand. He says the anaerobic digester plant is already selling the power it generates into Alberta's electricity grid.More

Alberta's economy expected to sizzle in 2014
Edmonton Journal
Alberta will lead the nation with the fastest-growing economy in 2014, the Conference Board of Canada predicted Monday in its provincial outlook. "While many provinces have struggled in the past few years, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador thrived as their primary resources were in high demand and fueled solid economic growth," said Marie-Christine Bernard, associate director, provincial forecast.More

Bright idea nets solar award for project
Calgary Herald
Hitting a record for energy efficiency reflects well on a southern Alberta community that uses eco-friendly solar panels to heat its homes. Drake Landing recently won the International Energy Agency's 2013 Solar Heating and Cooling Programme award for its community in Okotoks. Drake Landing is a non-profit organization owned equally by four partners — United Communities, Sterling Homes, ATCO Gas and the town of Okotoks. More

Oregon researchers shed new light on solar water-splitting process
Renewable Energy World
With the help of a new method called "dual-electrode photoelectrochemistry," University of Oregon scientists have provided new insight into how solar water-splitting cells work. An important and overlooked parameter, they report, is the ion-permeability of electrocatalysts used in water-splitting devices. Their discovery could help replace a trial-and-error approach to paring electrocatalysts with semi-conductors.More

P3s put a jolt in electricity infrastructure
Daily Commercial News
Public-private partnerships (P3s) are delivering electricity infrastructure to push more power into the grid. But according to the message conveyed at the recent 21st Annual National Conference of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships in Toronto, P3s have the potential to break new ground as distribution utilities contemplate producing their own power on a large scale. More

LEED powerhouse created from aging office building
Beacon News
Old office buildings waste a lot of heat. But they don't have to. New technologies and materials can transform aging buildings into LEED wonders. What are the two most common complaints from office workers? It's too hot, and, it's too cold. These dichotomous complaints are symptoms of a wider problem. More

Canada facing engineer shortage
St. Albert Leader
Engineer a future with abundant career prospects. With our increasingly complex technical, social and environmental challenges, Canada is facing a critical shortage of engineers, particularly those who go beyond the undergraduate designation. "Canada lacks the highly trained talent to drive innovation and sustain competitiveness," says Dr. Steven Dew, associate dean of the faculty of engineering at the University of Alberta.More

New building certification could seriously challenge LEED
New upgrades to a building certification program may very well lure developers and building owners who are thinking of obtaining a green certification for their projects away from LEED. ECD Energy and Environment Canada announced the release of significant upgrades to the Green Globes for New Construction Canada program since its introduction in 2004. More

Construction starts on City Centre airport site
CBC News
Now that the last planes have left City Centre airport, crews have begun to transform the site into a residential community. Over the next couple of months, the runways and taxiways will be dug up and recycled. "There's asphalt, concrete, there's probably gravel under the runways. We want to re-use that material," said Mark Hall, executive director of Blatchford Redevelopment. More

Saskatchewan sets new record for electricity use
The StarPhoenix
Behind a set of wrought iron, electrically controlled gates on the southeast side of Regina, there's a nondescript concrete building. From the outside, it's bland — a beige bunker-like building at which you might not look twice. Should you find yourself inside it, however, past the security check-point and electronic locks and on the other side of a door marked "Grid Control," you'd realize it's anything but bland. It's SaskPower's Grid Control Centre, the central hub that maintains and monitors Saskatchewan's power grid.More

Survey: Canadian employers to continue hiring in coming quarter
The Globe and Mail
Canadian employers see steady hiring in the coming quarter, with those in Western Canada showing the brightest outlook — though many of the new jobs are expected to be in lower-paying positions. Manpower's quarterly survey shows 13 per cent of Canadian employers plan to add to payrolls in the January-to-March period while eight per cent see reductions. The majority — or 78 per cent — expect to maintain current staffing levels. More