Canadian Consulting Engineer

Consulting engineers help develop “floating generators”

December 29, 2006
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

Several consulting engineering companies are in consortia that will receive funding from the federal government to ...

Several consulting engineering companies are in consortia that will receive funding from the federal government to develop new environmental technologies. Among the projects they are to develop is one for “floating generators” that will capture the power of wind hundreds of feet in the air, and another for generating power from construction waste.
Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is an arm’s length, non-profit foundation created by the federal government which operates a $550-million fund to support technologies that address climate change, clean air, clean water and clean soil issues. Early in December SDTC announced the latest batch of 11 consortia to receive funding.
One of the consortia includes SNC-Lavalin Environment to develop a plant that will convert construction waste into synthetic gas for power generation. The lead member of the consortium is Biothermica Energie. The group will develop, build and operate a pilot plant designed to convert 35,000 tonnes per year of construction, demolition waste and other urban wood waste into the gas. The gas will be used in combination with landfill biogas in the Gazmont 25 MW power plant in Montreal. The idea is to couple a fluidized bed high pressure gasifier to an industrial steam boiler.
A Vancouver consulting firm, Levelton Engineering, is part of the Hillsborough Resources consortium that will demonstrate a process to separate the kaolin and residual coal from the tailings stream at coal mines. The process will produce a calcined pozzalan (primarily metakaolin) concrete admixture that can replace up to 15 per cent of Portland Cement. The proposed project consists of a 500-tonne per month demonstration plant to be located in Campbell River, B.C. Other members of the consortium are Northwest Pozzolan and Solution Ciment Inc.
Conestoga-Rovers & Associates are in a consortium led by Magenn Power of Ottawa that will receive funds to develop “floating generators.” Specifically, the Magenns’s Air Rotor System (MARS), are to be tethered usually between 200 and 1,000 feet above ground level where winds are strongest. The rotor is held by Helium and the power is transferred down the tether to the ground.
Associated Engineering is on the consortium led by Milligan Bi-Tech Inc. of Foam Lake Saskatchewan, a team that is launching the first hub and spoke demonstration project for the valorization of distressed oil seeds. The project aims to process and produce
biodiesel from sites across the Prairies more effectively.
These and seven other pilot projects will receive a total of $30 million.
SDTC will launch its next call for Statements of Interest from consortia on January 24, 2007. For information, contact or visit


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