CTC #38 - Climate mitigation & a shot at large-scale carbon capture
Plus funding for smart soil mapping, small business carbon management, and an Ontario battery plant hits pause.
I hope you’re having a great week and keeping safe. It’s been a wild start to forest fire season this year with more fires and higher than usual temperatures in Alberta, and a heat dome forming across the west this weekend. 2023 is shaping up to be one of the top four hottest years on record, driven by accelerating climate change and a rapid switch to El Nino conditions.
These kinds of fires are going to keep coming as climate change continues and average temperatures go up. Expect more interest in climate mitigation technology in the near future as extreme events continue to drive home the once-abstract impacts of climate change. Startups are springing up to meet this need, from early detection capabilities to inducing fog for fire mitigation. Solutions that help quantify climate risks will also become increasingly important to financial institutions, insurance providers, investors and governments.
In this week’s issue, we have a carbon capture moonshot from Hopper co-founders, funding for AI-powered soil probes, biogas production for the dairy industry, and carbon management software for small- and medium-sized businesses.
Elsewhere in climate, the feds promote Canada’s nuclear industry in Europe, a coastal grid corridor aims to connect offshore wind with hydrogen producers, and Stellantis hits pause on their Ontario battery plant. Let’s go!
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🏭 Deep Sky (Montréal, QC) launched with $10M in funding from Brightspark Ventures and the Quebec government to build large scale carbon capture infrastructure in Canada. Deep Sky is led by Hopper co-founders Frederic Lalonde and Joost Ouwerkerk and former Airbnb CFO Laurence Tosi. The company plans to bring together existing solutions from several partners to build large air- and ocean-based carbon capture facilities and sequester the carbon underground. The funding will be used to start planning a pilot site.
🌾 ChrysaLabs (Montréal, QC) secured $15M in funding for its soil-testing tech from Bayer, TELUS Ventures, Emmertech and others. ChrysaLabs’ has developed a soil probe that can analyze soil in real-time using artificial intelligence, allowing producers to optimize fertilizer use and other inputs. The funding will be used for growth and to expand into carbon offset verification.
⛽️ Obea Biogas (Montréal, QC) landed $3M in seed funding for its biogas solution for dairy farms led by Diagram Ventures. Obea uses bacteria to break down animal waste into biogas and fertilizers, creating a sustainable source of energy for farms and reducing emissions. The funding will be used to accelerate growth.
📊 Carbonhound (Toronto, ON) raised $1.3M in pre-seed funding for its emissions-tracking solution for SMBs from Highline Beta and local angel groups. Carbonhound’s platform allows small and medium businesses to manage their emissions footprint without the need for outside consultants.
💽 QScale (Lévis, QC) secured an undisclosed amount of funding for its sustainable computing solutions. QScale uses waste heat recovery systems to capture and reuse the heat from performance computing centres, reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency.
Three climate tech startups received $2.8M in funding from Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. Recipients include:
Graphite Innovations & Technology - sustainable marine coatings
Rayleigh Solar Tech - flexible perovskite-based solar panels
Prosaris Solutions - ultrasonic leak detection for oil & gas
Arolytics - oil & gas leak monitoring and reporting
🍔 Above Food (Regina, SK) will go public through an SPAC merger with Bite Acquisition at a valuation of around $319 million USD. Above Food is a vertically integrated plant-based food producer, and includes brands like Culcherd, TUNO, Loma Linda and others.
🏬 Mysa (St. John’s, NL) acquired smart thermostat company Zen Ecosystems. This expands Mysa’s footprint from residential into commercial applications.
📈 Milestones & Growth
Halifax-based Smallfood and Toronto’s Terra Bio made the shortlist for the XPRIZE “Feed the Next Billion” for ProFillet, a plant-based fish fillet.
Toronto’s Li-Cycle announced a new Europe-based battery recycling hub, the largest source of recycled battery grade lithium, nickel and cobalt in Europe.
Lion Electric launched a vehicle-to-grid pilot program with P.E.I., using the province's electric school buses to provide electricity during power outages.
Enwave Energy broke ground on a new district heating facility in Toronto, helping decarbonize the city’s built environment.
Carbon capture startup Svante is partnering with 3M to develop materials that can trap CO2 found in the atmosphere and permanently remove it.
🔭 Here & There
Behind the scenes on what it takes to convert a bus depot to support electric buses
Electric cars are the new solar, and we don’t see it coming
The energy transition explained in 5 charts
Planetary Technologies’ Mike Kelland on the challenges of ocean alkalinity enhancement
🌎 In the news
The Canadian government is promoting SMRs in Eastern Europe, as several countries are looking to get into nuclear for the first time. The feds are working to promote Canadian technology and build out supply chains.
At the Montreal Climate Summit, the feds announced $187M to support low-carbon projects in Quebec including $60M to help low-income households ditch oil for home heating and $127M for emissions reduction projects.
The federal government and Federation of Canadian Municipalities also announced $1.4M for municipal emission reduction projects, including an energy recovery loop, adopting EVs in municipal fleets and energy efficiency projects.
Industry group Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) launched a $35M fund for projects that build out capabilities across Canada’s value chain of battery and fuel-cell electric vehicles.
Canada has a new advisory council for achieving net-zero emissions in electricity made up of 19 experts. The council will advise the feds and help shape the electricity sector investments announced in Budget 2023.
A new pilot program aims to boost investment in nature conservation in Canada. The pilot enlists businesses to fund conservation projects in exchange for certification from the feds to demonstrate their environmental commitments to stakeholders.
The feds launched an official investigation into tailings leaks at the Kearl oil sands site in northern Alberta, a move that could see charges laid.
A new grid corridor between Nova Scotia and New England is being proposed that would connect offshore wind to power grids and green hydrogen production on the east coast.
Automaker Stellantis stopped construction on their Windsor, ON battery plant claiming the feds haven’t delivered on their end of the agreement. Stellantis may be pushing for a better deal after Volkswagen received $13B in subsidies.
After landing major EV supply chain investments in the last couple of months, Ontario is shifting to focus on securing lithium hydroxide plants to produce the critical component for batteries.
Ontario is looking to expand gas-fired power plants to meet growing energy needs. The move could put a damper on efforts to attract investments with the province’s clean energy profile, and is at odds with federal net-zero goals for Canada’s grid.
The government of Newfoundland and Labrador will partner with the Port of Rotterdam to support green hydrogen supply chains and the export of green hydrogen to the Netherlands and Europe.
Ten transit organizations in Quebec partnered to procure up to 1,229 electric buses from Quebec-based Nova Bus for $2.1 billion. It is the largest bus acquisition project in North America.
Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt is exploring two Quebec cities as potential sites for new battery factories.
Nova Scotia announced $927K in funding for the Verschuren Centre, a non-profit providing industrial fermentation and bioprocessing lab space to startups. The funding will help commercialize forestry- and biological resource-related innovation.
B.C.s natural gas ambitions may be at odds with the province’s own climate targets, as a new report from the Pembina Institute warns that B.C. would need to produce huge amounts of clean energy just to reduce the emissions from producing natural gas.
📣 What’s going on
💡 carbonNEXT Resource Hub: Produced by Foresight Canada’s carbonNEXT program, the hub covers funding sources, accelerators, research & policy groups, events, testing facilities and more.
💡 Canadian Technology Accelerator for Climatetech in the US: The accelerator, hosted by Canada’s Trade Commissioner, helps connect climate tech founders with venture investors and customers across the US. Apply by May 24th.
💡 Scaled Renewable Ocean Energy: Canada's Ocean Supercluster is looking for proposals for offshore renewable ocean energy projects and related supply chains. Apply by June 20th.
📅 Canadian Climate Investor Conference: The inaugural conference brings together clean energy and technology companies and climate conscious investors to accelerate the deployment of capital. June 8th in Toronto, ON.
📅 BEV In-Depth: Mines to Mobility: Returning for its second year, the conference brings together key players across the battery electric vehicle (BEV) supply chain to advance the industry in Ontario and across Canada. May 31-June 1st in Sudbury, ON.
Featured postings from some of Canada’s most innovative companies:
🏠 VP of Technology - OPEN Technologies (Vancouver, BC)
🔋 Senior Hardware Developer - GBatteries (Hybrid in Ottawa, ON)
♻️ Manager, Total Rewards - Li-Cycle (Toronto, ON, Remote)
💧 Full-Stack Developer - Pani Energy (Remote)
🏭 Legal Counsel - Svante (Burnaby, BC)
Have a role you’d like to promote? Hit reply or drop me a line on Twitter
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and if you’re enjoying the newsletter, share it with a friend!
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