Suncor (TSX: SU) has agreed to sell its wind and solar assets for $730 million to Canadian Utilities, an ATCO company. Instead, Suncor will focus on hydrogen and renewable fuels, which it considers more aligned with its core oil sands and petroleum business.
The sale includes interests in the Magrath, Chin Chut and Adelaide wind farms as well as the Forty Mile wind farm that is to be operational by year-end. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023 and is subject to customary closing conditions.
Earlier this summer, Suncor and five other oil sands producers – Canadian Natural, Cenovus Energy, ConocoPhillips, Imperial, and MEG Energy – created Pathways Alliance to focus on reducing the sector’s environmental impact. The alliance includes both the Canada Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and the Oil Sands Community Alliance (OSCA). It has a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The alliance will collaboratively pursue multiple technologies to achieve net-zero. A major component of the plan is to implement capture, utilization and storage (CCS) technology. Other potential solutions such as direct air capture and switching to low carbon fuels such as hydrogen and electricity for the oil sands sector will also be examined.
Net-zero will be reached in three phases, beginning with the construction of a carbon capture and storage network in northern Alberta. The carbon dioxide (CO2) storage facility is to be built in the Cold Lake area. Phase two (2030-40) includes the use of emerging technologies to improve carbon capture and exploring alternate power sources (including small modular reactors, see CMJ’s October 2022 issue). The third phase (2040-50) is to further refine existing and emerging technologies to reach net-zero.
To learn more about these ambitious plans to reach net-zero, go to www.PathwaysAlliance.ca.