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    Date submitted
  • 06-Nov-2017

SolarSteam Inc. | Cleantech

Abstract

SolarSteam manufactures solar steam generators for the Alberta oil and gas industry. SolarSteam offers turnkey installation, commissioning, training and warranties for our systems. The customer will own the equipment and will be responsible for ongoing operations and management. SolarSteam will partner with domestic suppliers and leading oil producers, delivering the lowest-cost solar steam for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in Alberta.​

SolarSteam uses a technology specifically designed for the Alberta oil industry and its unique requirements. SolarSteam system encloses lightweight mirrors in an agricultural greenhouse, concentrating the sun’s energy to heat water and create steam. The steam is then injected into an oil reservoir to aid the extraction of heavy crude. SolarSteam generators will integrate readily with existing oilfield operations, accepting the same feed water as once-through steam generators (OTSGs) and generating nominally 80% dry and between 500-1000 PSI.

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Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

The primary market for our product is 33,000 bpd EOR operations near the Cold Lake area of the province. The ideal client is an environmentally responsible SAGD operator, that does not have their own gas supply and has one square kilometers of adjacent land available for development. Other SolarSteam indirect clients could be steam assisted industrial and district heating processes with available flat land in close proximity to their facility in the central and southern part of Alberta.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

SolarSteam systems will reducing the high cost and high carbon emission of Canada’s Enhanced Oil Recovery industry. Considering the steam dependent Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) operations in Alberta, the local producers have an ideal opportunity for a low-carbon solar steam generation due to the high Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) that the province has to offer. Even if there is validity to the suggestion that climate change is not caused by the release of carbon emissions, SolarSteam proposes a novel technology that offers attractive economic benefits to Canada’s oil industry. SolarSteam manufactures solar steam generators for the Alberta oil and gas industry. SolarSteam offers turnkey installation, commissioning, training and warranties for our systems. The customer will own the equipment and will be responsible for ongoing operations and management. SolarSteam will partner with domestic suppliers and leading oil producers, delivering the lowest-cost solar steam for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in Alberta.​

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Alberta's oil sands have faced widespread support in being a critical part of the global energy mix, and it is important that the local energy industry demonstrates that the oil sands are being developed holistically and in line with domestic and global requirements. The Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) has taken the position of Canada’s sign-off on the Paris Agreement (COP 21) as a long-term opportunity to reduce oil-sands emissions by looking into investing in next-generation de-carbonization technologies.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

SolarSteam system will eliminate the notion that oil and solar are separate or even competing sources of energy and bring renewable and traditional energy resources together. SolarSteam will reduce natural gas consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately, production costs. We offer Alberta producers a solution that is friendly to the environment and friendly to the bottom line due to the natural gas and carbon tax revenues that the technology offers. SolarSteam systems will use renewable solar energy to increase the proven oil reserves of Alberta. While this may seem counter intuitive, proven reserves are the amount of oil that can be economically recovered from an oil field. If we move the economics, we will be able to extract more oil. For the province and the country, this would mean more domestic oil, more jobs and more revenue. This would be an example of Alberta economy really could work at its best. Our systems will create a new supply chain, contributing to the local job market and its highly skilled work force, ultimately contributing to economic development. SolarSteam will also help Alberta create a new international image of a leader in environmental protection and renewable technology development and implementation. The first Phase will be securing funding for a 100W model that will be used for lab environment validation (in 3 months/$50k). Second Phase, securing marketing/operational funding to develop a 4kW model for validation of the technology in a relevant environment (in 6 months/$400k). The third Phase would be raising funding, engineering, and commission a 1.5MWt Solar EOR proof of concept system in Calgary (in 12 months/$4.0M). The fourth Phase will be securing an industry partner (first adopter) for a 20MWt utility-scale system model in an operational environment in Lower Athabasca Region of Alberta (in 24 months/$20.0M). The fifth Phase, 500MWt scaled up system model engineered, developed and commissioned (48 months/ $340M). Final Phase, SolarSteam 500MWt system proven through successful operation (60 months). The primary market for our product is 33,000 bpd EOR operations in the Lower Athabasca region of Alberta. SolarSteam will be in competition with existing and novel EOR technologies that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and offer financial savings to the oil industry in Alberta. Our direct competitor is the California based GlassPoint with their enclosed through Solar EOR technology. Some of our indirect provincial based competitors include CO2 Solutions Inc. with their Carbon Dioxide Capture technology and Acceleware Ltd. with their Radio Frequency (RF) Heating. SolarSteam technology it's simple, effective and reliable. Carbon Capture and Radio Frequency Heating solutions are costly and energy intensive and do not provide the same environmental benefits as solar steam systems. As a Canadian company, SolarSteam’s advantage over GlassPoint is focusing exclusively on the Alberta oil industry rather than the Middle East. SolarSteam team will work directly with local government and producers and design our product and operation model in line with our domestic market.