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Building a 21st Century Union requires staying on top of the latest goings on in Canada and around the world. News items, photos and more to keep you 'in the know'.

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Large geothermal potential identified in Northwestern Alberta, Canada

Looks like Alberta might have scored big in the geothermal department! Researchers at the University of Alberta conculded from a recent study that Grand Prairie County shows up to 80 MW in geothermal potential. In other words, this means that it could potentially fuel up to 80,000 homes for 30 years. 

Jonathan Banks from the University of Alberta and also the researcher who presented the interim results to councillers, said that “It’s not going to replace the five gigawatts of coal power we’re taking offline but it is enough to provide clean, renewable energy for Grande Prairie county.”

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Source: Think GeoEnergy 

Canada showcases new algae biorefinery to reduce CO2 emissions

The government of Canada is supporting clean energy research, development and technology demonstration at all stages of the innovation spectrum, from high-risk, early-stage research that can deliver transformative energy solutions, to later-stage technology demonstrations to help speed the commercialization and adoption of cleaner energy technologies.

Canada’s first algal biorefinery demonstration project, a collaborative research effort between the National Research Council of Canada’s Algal Carbon Conversion program, Pond Technologies and Votorantim Cimentos’ St Marys Cement, is revolutionizing how industrial carbon emissions are managed.

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Source: Biodiesel Magazine 

Meet CUSW Member Iman Najibzadeh

Iman Najibzadeh is originally from Iran but migrated to Canada in 2011. That is when he began his apprenticeship to become a licensed electrician. It wasn’t until 2013 that Iman became a CUSW Member. 

Through working with CUSW, he’s learned new skills like fibre optics and how to properly use data in his own work. He says that the environment that is created within CUSW is what makes him feel at home. “CUSW organizes events to gather people together outside of work” – his favourite of which was a fishing derby they organized for members this summer. He fished for the first time. Although he didn’t catch any fish, he remains optimistic.

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Source: Ottawa Life Magazine

Canada has tremendous geothermal resources, but are they making use of it?

The city of Valemount in British Columbia could help kickstart further geothermal development in Canada. 

Borealis GeoPower and its partners have plans for a geothermal power plant in the city of Valemount. They are proposing a 15 MW "GeoPark" concept to the community. Valemount has geothermal hot springs right next to the city so having a geothermal power plant could essentially also feed electricity into the provincial power grid. 

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Source: Think GeoEnergy

Generating Electricity with the Wind Tree

Wind turbines are ugly, noisy, and far from energy consumption centers. So, the Wind Tree was created. 

What is a wind tree you ask? Well is has a steel trunk that supports 60 small plastic turbines called “Aeroleafs”, which generate power. In addition, the blades can rotate 360 degrees and use winds from any direction.

The best part of these wind trees, they are completely silent while in operation. Perfect for urban areas. 

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Source: Substance Éts

Have you ever thought about converting to solar?

Peter Darlington from Calgary, AB has ran an exterior contracting company for the past 15 years. He recently converted his house into a zero energy solar home. He spent $40,000 to install solar panels on his garage roof and four inches of "super insulation" around his home. 

"I was aware of how easy it would be to hyper-insulate the building. It just kinda made sense to lock down my energy prices for the coming 25, 30 years," he told CBC Calgary News at 6.

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Source: CBC News - Calgary 

Watch this 90 second video to get a full understanding of what exactly is a Passive House... yes, only 90 seconds!

Source: Viemo - Hans-Jörn Eich 

Controversy over the construction of BC Hydro's Site C dam

Amnesty International wants to put a stop to the construction work on BC Hydro's multi-billion dollar dam project. In a report that they recently released states that "all work on the Site C dam in northeastern B.C. should stop because the project threatens the rights of Indigenous peoples." 

Jessica McDonald, BC Hydro President, says there will be no halt to the project as she feels the report has missed the mark.

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Source: CBC News - British Columbia 


Tapping Canada's Geothermal Potential

In the midst of controversy over B.C.’s Peace River Site C dam project, the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association released a study showing the province could get the same amount of energy more affordably from geothermal sources for about half the construction costs. Unlike Site C, geothermal wouldn’t require massive transmission upgrades, would be less environmentally disruptive and would create more jobs throughout the province rather than just in one area.

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Source: Desmog Canada

Would you invest in a co-op?

SaskWind, a Saskatchewan-based wind and solar company, is looking to take a Germany and European way of thinking to one of their recent projects - inviting members of the community to be co-owners. 

“Communities got together, and they tended to build smaller projects as a result, which suited their particular needs, and they provided the financing,” said SaskWind President James Glennie in an interview. “I think one of the things that’s interesting and exciting about the internet is that it’s very easy for many people to get together and each put in say $1,000 to finance.”

SaskWind is looking for investors to help build six wind turbines and 30,000 solar panels that would span over 100 acres. This would produce enough power to approx., 12,000 Saskatchewan homes. SaskWind also says they this project could create as many as 20,000 jobs. 

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Source: National Observer 


According to recent numbers released by Portugal’s ZERO System Sustainable Land Association in collaboration According to recent numbers released by Portugal’s ZERO System Sustainable Land Association in collaboration with the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association (APREN), the country ran solely on renewable energy for a total of four days this month. This 107-hour run began Saturday morning, May 7, and ended early Wednesday evening, May 11. Solar, wind, and hydro electricity were the renewable sources used during this record-setting event.

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Source: Collective Evolution 

Could Bay of Fundy tides generate enough power for all of Atlantic Canada?

They flank the bay that is home to the highest and strongest tides in the world, but for hundreds of years Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have struggled to channel the awesome might of the Bay of Fundy into tidal power.

Aspiring entrepreneurs have tried everything from mill wheels in the 1600s to turbines in the 2000s, only to have their hopes dashed and devices casually battered to smithereens by the water's crushing force.

There has been limited success. In 1984, a form of hydroelectric dam—called a barrage—was built at Annapolis Royal, N.S. The 20-megawatt plant is one of only three tidal power plants in the world.

However, the next generation of projects is set to launch and onlookers say it's time for the tide to turn.

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Source: CBC News - Nova Scotia 

Geothermal energy research in Alberta making strides with new technology

Geothermal-generated electricity could be a piece of the answer to how Alberta can move away from coal-fired electric power in time for the NDP's 2030 deadline.

Jonathan Banks, a research scientist in the department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta, is mapping the potential for geothermal power across the western part of the province, in a partnership with Alberta Innovates and Energy and Environment Solutions. That includes mapping reservoirs of water kilometres beneath our feet, that is hot enough to convert into electricity using a turbine mechanism.

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Source: CBC News - Calgary 

Ontario’s Port Ryerse Wind Farm Is Ready For Construction

Construction of the Port Ryerse Wind Farm, developed by Boralex Inc. and located in Ontario, will kick off shortly on June 13.

Boralex says the project will create up to 50 jobs during construction, which will take place over the next five months. Commissioning is slated for November.The 10 MW project comprises four Siemens SWT 3.0 113 turbines and is situated east of the hamlet of Port Ryerse in Norfolk County.

The project, representing an investment of $38.4 million, was developed in response to the government of Ontario’s initiative to develop renewable energy in the province, the developer says.

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Source: North American Wind Power

The All-Electric Light Rider Is The World's First 3-D Printed Motorcycle

Airbus, the airplane company, has made what it calls the world’s first 3-D printed motorcycle, and it looks like the perfect city get-around—as long as you have $57,000 to spend. For that money, though, you not only get an ultra-light, speedy electric motorcycle. You get an ultra-light, speedy electric motorcyclecalled the Light Rider.

Light Rider comes out of Airbus’s German-based APWorks, and it is full of fancy German engineering. The bike weighs in at just 77 pounds, and the all-electric motor takes it from 0-30 mph in three seconds. The top speed is 50mph, and the battery lasts for 40 miles. In other words, it’s not going to beat a high-performance motorbike, but it will easily thrash your regular city moped or scooter.

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Bay of Fundy to get tidal power turbine next month

The first of two towering turbines designed by Cape Sharp Tidal to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy will be installed next month off the coast of Nova Scotia, an company official announced Thursday.

Sarah Dawson, the community relations manager for the project, said one of the five-storey high, two-megawatt turbines built in Pictou by Aecon Atlantic Industrial Inc., will be loaded on a barge during the first week of June and travel around the province until it reaches the test site near Parrsboro.

That trip will take a couple of weeks.

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Shipping container homes move into Edmonton's back alleys

Shipping container homes will soon be moving into back alleys across the city, if Daniel Engelman has his way.

The co-owner of Honomobo is pitching the unconventional construction as a way to expand Edmonton's stock of garage and garden suites.  

The Edmonton company's new series of suites, built in a factory west of Stony Plain, can be installed on top of a new garage in just under a week.

The units range from $99,000 for a studio to $147,000 for a two-bedroom suite, with the added cost of about $25,000 for the new garage.

The first in the series will be on display in Churchill Square from June 3-5, before it's installed in Engleman's backyard in the Ritchie neighbourhood.

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Source: CBC News - Edmonton

Residents fight wind turbines planned near Collingwood airport

Opponents of a wind power project in the Collingwood area warned Thursday that it will put lives at risk because giant industrial turbines will be built less than four kilometres from an airport runway.

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Source: CTV NEWS

WestJet exploring development of sustainable aviation biofuel

WestJet Airlines Ltd is hoping its new partnership with a central Alberta research centre will lead to the development of an environmentally friendly biofuel that will help the carrier reduce its carbon footprint.

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Source: Calgary Herald

Global Cleantech Boom Leaves Canada Behind

A grim report released Tuesday shows that while clean technology companies in the rest of the world are booming, Canada’s saw their growth stall in 2014, in part as result of the previous government’s lack of climate policy. The report came on the heels of a request from 200 sector leaders for more help from Ottawa.

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