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Hydrogen in Sturgeon County

Our eyes are on developing diverse industries here, where we have the advantage of rich soil, natural resources, and progressive economic ideas. The jobs of the future live here, in a strong economy with opportunities for everyone and balance with our rural way of life. We are natural collaborators. We know our success is linked with our partnerships and we work hard at building and nurturing those connections with big cities, small towns and First Nations 

Ambition is the difference between leading and being led. Deep down, it’s in us all: the desire to reach our full potential, to make things better.  

Sturgeon County has played a leadership role in the creation of Canada’s first hydrogen HUB – the Edmonton Region Hydrogen HUB. Within the hub there is an opportunity to showcase a lighthouse role for Sturgeon County to demonstrate how other communities in Canada can take part in the Energy Evolution. 

Using an Ecosystem Approach, Sturgeon County will coordinate growth to develop digital connectivity, meet the challenges of the energy evolution, continue innovative agricultural practices, and keep a keen, community-based focus on environmental, social, and governance priorities. 

Our ecosystem approach focuses on complete communities like Sturgeon Valley.  With a population projected to surpass 68,000, and thousands of new jobs coming to the region, our eyes are on developing diverse industries. We have the experience, the people, and the infrastructure in place to navigate the road ahead).  Pilot, demonstration, and commercial projects to include the development of waste to resource opportunities, solar and hydrogen for residential use and heating, fueling stations for commercial and heavy haul vehicles and others.  

Prioritizing opportunities for Alexander First Nation to explore a variety of hydrogen applications is key to the ecosystem approach. There is an astounding opportunity for Indigenous participation in the future of Canadian communities and for the application of traditional knowledge to cutting-edge innovation. The potential for workforce training and participation in the digital and energy evolution is unparalleled in Canada’s history. We would like to make our unique cooperation a model for participatory inclusion in a new Canada. 

Another focus is on the Villeneuve Airport Area and Sturgeon County’s portion of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. The Villeneuve Airport Area will combine opportunities for aviation, aerospace, and transportation with an innovation park showcasing hydrogen demonstration projects, value-added agricultural initiatives, and much more, while Alberta’s Industrial Heartland will pave the way for decarbonized hydrogen production and energy inputs into existing industries.  

As the ecosystem matures, activity will focus on northeastern Alberta, with the potential to decarbonize industry  with existing  infrastructure in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Area, including Hydrogen production, CCUS systems and waste to resource initiatives.  

In June 2020, the Alberta Carbon Trunkline (ACTL) became operational, sequestering a total of 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year from local facilities. The ACTL is fully operational, but will continue to grow, with an additional 13 million tonnes of annual capacity to serve industries now and in the future. 

Today’s world requires online connectivity to provide better access for consumers, workers, and businesses. This is why Sturgeon County made the bold commitment to partner with a private sector business, Canadian Fibre Optics, to build a fibre-optic network to enhance internet speeds and bridge the digital divide. This project will pilot in the southwest corner of the County. With Phase 1 slated to be complete in 2022 and Phase 2 scheduled for 2023 and beyond, this project will provide service to well over 5000 parcels of residential and industrial/commercial land. 

Through a socially and economically sustainable ecosystem approach, we will build healthy and thriving communities. 

FACT: Sturgeon County Mayor Alanna Hnatiw showcased an eye on competitive foresight by leading the Edmonton Region Hydrogen Hub and taking a leadership role in its initial formation. 

Proof Point: Sturgeon County’s mayor is heading up a $2-million alliance that aims to make hydrogen-fueled trucks, trains and homes commonplace in the Edmonton region.    

Sturgeon County Mayor Alanna Hnatiw joined federal, provincial and First Nations leaders at an online news conference on April 14,2021, to launch the Edmonton Region Hydrogen Hub.  
Billed as the first such group in Canada, the Hub aimed to bring government and industry officials together to create a hydrogen-based economy in and around Edmonton, and was backed by about $2.3 million from the Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association and the federal and provincial governments.   

Heading up the Hub are the leaders of Alexander First Nation, Edmonton, Enoch Cree Nation, Fort Saskatchewan, Lamont County, Strathcona County and Sturgeon County. Hnatiw is the group’s chairperson. The group is supported by the Transition Accelerator (a renewable-energy think-tank) and Edmonton Global.  

Source: Sturgeon County heads up regional hydrogen group - 

FACT: Sturgeon County has existing blue ammonia production; Nutrien, produces blue ammonia on site in Sturgeon County and is one of the largest ammonia producers in the world.

Proof Point: Ammonia (NH3), is one of the world’s most important commodities. Annual global ammonia production is approximately 180 million tonnes, of which about 80 percent is used for fertilizers and the rest for various industrial uses and products. Nutrien is the third-largest ammonia producer in the world, with the capacity to produce about 7 million tonnes annually.  
Pure ammonia contains no carbon, so when fully combusted, the only end products are nitrogen and water vapor. Combined with the fact that there are credible low/zero carbon pathways for ammonia production, there’s significant interest globally in using ammonia as a fuel. Blake shared insights about these efforts and other blue and green ammonia-related projects in this article, published recently in Fertilizer Focus. 

Source: Collaboration Is Key To Our Blue And Green Ammonia Journey | Nutrien

FACT: Alberta is the largest hydrogen producer in Canada, producing approximately 2.4 million tonnes of hydrogen per year – Sturgeon County has hydrogen pipelines and use established in our community.  

Source: Alberta Hydrogen Roadmap 

FACT: Sturgeon County is the home of the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line – the world's largest Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage pipeline.  

Source: Wolf Carbon – Wolf Midstream 

Contact us!

Need more information? Get in touch!

Tyler Westover, Director, Economic Development & Ecosystem Services
Phone: 780-939-8358