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Shepard GS selected as a test site for NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE

March 6, 2017 | By Anthony Capkun

Shepard Energy Centre courtesy ENMAX.

March 6, 2017 – ENMAX and Capital Power announced the 860MW Shepard Energy Centre in southeast Calgary has been chosen as the test site for the natural gas track of a global competition to develop technologies that convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into “valuable” products.

Shepard will host the new Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre—as well as provide the flue gas for testing—during the $20-million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, which aims to find new ways to address CO2 emissions through carbon conversion.

“This competition was created to challenge and reimagine what the world can do with CO2,” said XPRIZE Foundation’s Paul Bunje. “Ultimately, by advancing science, research and technology, we can convert emissions into usable products, shifting what is today considered a liability into a valuable resource for the future.”

The Conversion Tech Centre is a collaboration between the governments of Canada and Alberta, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), Shepard, InnoTech Alberta and academia for accelerating CO2 reduction, carbon utilization and value-added economic development by allowing companies to demonstrate new technologies in a full-scale production environment.


Shepard will be the only operating natural gas-fuelled power plant in the world where multiple advanced carbon utilization technologies can be tested at scale, says ENMAX.

The five-year competition began in 2015, backed by NRG Energy, and eight member companies of COSIA: Canadian Natural Resources, CNOOC Nexen, Cenovus, ConocoPhillips Canada, Devon Canada, Imperial Oil, Suncor Energy and Shell Canada Energy.

27 teams in the XPRIZE semi-final round are vying for 10 spots in the finals, expected to be announced in early 2018. Finalists will share a $2.5 million purse to execute on their submissions. Ultimately, the winning team in both the natural gas and coal tracks will be awarded a $7.5-million grand prize in Spring 2020.

— Photo of Shepard Energy Centre courtesy ENMAX.

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