SAAEP’s Bio-Energy Background

Between 2006 and 2010, SAAEP was successfully involved with market feasibility studies for bio-energy in Southern Alberta.  In collaboration with senior levels of government, and industry, three studies detailing the potential of biodiesel, waste-to-energy, and associated supply chain development were released.

Opportunity Identification for the Biofuels Industry in Southwest and South-central Alberta, published April 2008

Feasibility Study; Integrated Biodiesel Refinery published July 2007

Waste-to-Energy Treatment Alternatives in Southwest and South-central Alberta, published January 2008

Bio-energy Development in the SAAEP Region

A very solid foundation for expanded bio-energy development exists in Southern Alberta.  Lethbridge County, and the city of Lethbridge, contain Western Canada’s largest biodiesel refinery, and biogas power plant, respectively.  The entire area produces an abundance of agricultural and livestock waste suitable for bio-energy uses.

Invigor Bioenergy Corporation

A 71 million liter per year biodiesel facility, commissioned in 2013.  The company is currently raising capital towards plant upgrades which will allow handling of waste fats (animal tallow) and oils (Used Cooking Oil – UCO) to achieve ASTM spec biodiesel.

Lethbridge Biogas

The Lethbridge biogas/cogeneration plant processes organic residues such as agricultural manures and food processing by-products. It uses the biogas generated in two 1.4MW combined heat and power units (CHP) to produce green and renewable electricity for the Alberta grid.


Grow The Energy Circle operates an on-farm biogas facility, producing electricity to off-set electricity consumption on its potato operations near Coaldale.

Provincial Resources

Alberta’s Bioenergy Producer Program

This short-term program is meant to support bioenergy production while a bioenergy industry review is conducted to inform long-term policy options that would support a sustainable sector in Alberta.

Alberta’s Renewable Fuels Standard

The AB RFS requires an average of five per cent renewable alcohol in gasoline and two per cent renewable diesel in diesel fuel sold in Alberta

Bioenergy Producers Group Report Card & Provincial Map

Status of the industry in Alberta. Plus locations of biomass, biofuels, and biogas facilities. Coordinated and produced by the Waterfall Group


Federal Bioenergy Resources

Advanced Biofuels Canada

Canada’s primary industry relations group on biofuels such as bio-diesel and ethanol

The Canadian Biogas Association

Since 2008, the CBA’s membership has grown to over 100, including farmers, municipalities, technology developers, consultants, finance and insurance firms, and more


Federal Research and Development at CanmetENERGY

Scientists and engineers at CanmetENERGY are at the forefront of innovative technology developments that will enhance the sustainability of bioenergy for Canada’s future.

Their research focuses on the conversion of biomass to energy and fuels that can be used to meet energy needs in industry, transportation, agriculture and residential heating. Through collaborations with industry and in-house research, Canmet is exploring biogas (gasification and anaerobic digestion), biofuels (2nd generation biofuels and pyrolysis), biomass resources (biomass to gas, catalytic conversion and biomass densification), combined heat and power and air emissions reduction.

Recent bioenergy advancements include:

  • converting wastes such as restaurant grease to high-quality diesel fuels
  • diesel blending stocks that can operate at low temperatures
  • techniques for combustion of difficult, high ash, low melting point agricultural residues
  • a “Super-7” set of guidelines for improving industrial boiler efficiency and reducing emissions
  • anaerobic digestion processes for the pulp and paper industry
  • testing of microturbines and Stirling engines with liquid and gaseous biofuels
information from the Natural Resources Canada website