$20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE finalists announced; teams ready to test transformative CO2 technologies at Alberta’s carbon conversion centre

Calgary, AB – April 9, 2018 -- Today, at the Future of Energy Summit in New York City, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) joined XPRIZE and NRG Energy in revealing the 10 finalists of the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, who have demonstrated that their carbon conversion technologies are ready for testing at commercial scale.

The 10 teams, from five countries, will take home an equal share of a $5 million milestone prize as they advance to the next stage of the competition, proving their technologies can be economically scaled up to transform CO2 into valuable, useful products.

Five of the ten finalists will test their system’s ability to consume two tons of CO2 per day at a test centre in Calgary - the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre (ACCTC) – operated by InnoTech Alberta. The ACCTC is one of the few places in the world where carbon conversion technologies can be tested at a commercial scale, and NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE finalists will be the first tenants to test their solutions in the natural gas track of the competition. The other five finalist teams will conduct similar testing in the coal track of the competition at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center.

COSIA, a collaboration of Canada’s largest oil sands producers, representing 90 per cent of Canada’s oil sands production, is focused on accelerating the pace of environmental improvements in Canada’s oil sands. Canada’s oil sands account for 9.3% of Canada’s total GHG emissions. As an important source of the world’s energy now, and for decades to come, COSIA members are continually seeking ways to reduce emissions.

“COSIA’s members explore every avenue for improving their environmental performance, reducing emissions, and ultimately contributing to Canada’s emissions reduction goals. Our members have shared 981 technologies at a cost of $1.4 billion; between 2012 and 2016, COSIA members have reduced GHG emissions intensity by 11% at in situ operations and 9% at mining operations.” said Dan Wicklum, COSIA chief executive.

Seven member companies of COSIA – Canadian Natural, CNOOC Nexen, Cenovus Energy, ConocoPhillips Canada, Devon, Imperial and Suncor– along with NRG Energy, a leading integrated power company in the U.S., partnered with XPRIZE Foundation on the $20 million global competition to reimagine CO2.

“Many of our innovations are incremental and stack up to give great results. Other innovations, like the technologies that are advancing through the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, are transformative, and have the potential to dramatically reduce GHG emissions,” Wicklum continued. “Benefits we will realize here, will have benefits far beyond the oil sands; the outcomes of the Carbon XPRIZE could have real benefits at a global scale.”

COSIA looks forward to welcoming the five finalist teams that will move into the ACCTC in this next phase. The teams are:

  • C2CNT (Ashburn, USA) – Led by Dr. Stuart Licht, the team is producing carbon nanotubes.
  • Carbicrete (Montreal, Canada) – Led by Dr. Mehrdad Mahoutian, the team is producing cement-free, carbon-negative concrete that uses waste from steel production as an alternative to traditional cement.
  • Carbon Upcycling Technologies (Calgary, Canada) – Led by Apoorv Sinha, the team is producing enhanced graphitic nanoparticles and graphene derivatives with applications in polymers, concrete, epoxies, batteries and pharmaceuticals.
  • CERT (Toronto, Canada) – Led by Dr. Alex Ip of the Sargent Group at the University of Toronto, the team is producing building blocks of industrial chemicals.
  • Newlight (Huntington Beach, USA) – Led by Mark Herrema, the team uses biological systems to produce bioplastics. Ultimately, the winning teams in both the natural gas and coal tracks of the competition will each be awarded a $7.5 million grand prize in the spring of 2020.

Background Materials:
XPRIZE Finalists Announcement press release
Meet the ten teams: postcard
COSIA ACCTC announcement press release (March 3, 2017)
COSIA 2017 Project Portfolio

For more information, please contact:
Eileen Kahler
Email: eileen.kahler@cosia.ca
Phone: 403.444.5268

About COSIA:
Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is a unique alliance of oil sands producers focused on accelerating environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands. COSIA enables collaboration and innovation between thinkers from industry, government, academia and the wider public to improve measurement, accountability and performance in the oil sands across our environmental priority areas of greenhouse gases, land, water and tailings. COSIA members search the world for solutions to our toughest problems. And we have some of the best minds on the planet working on technologies to enable responsible and sustainable development. To date, COSIA has shared 981 distinct environmental technologies and innovations that cost over $1.4 billion to develop. Visit us at www.cosia.ca.

XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. XPRIZE utilizes a unique combination of gamification, crowd-sourcing, incentive prize theory and exponential technologies as a formula to make 10x (vs. 10%) impact in the grand challenge domains facing our world. XPRIZE’s philosophy is that—under the right circumstances—igniting rapid experimentation from a variety of diverse lenses is the most efficient and effective method to driving exponential impact and solutions to grand challenges. Active competitions include the Lunar XPRIZE, $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, the $1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE and the $1M Anu and Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org.

About NRG
NRG is the leading integrated power company in the U.S., built on the strength of our diverse competitive electric generation portfolio and leading retail electricity platform. A Fortune 500 company, NRG creates value through best in class operations, reliable and efficient electric generation, and a retail platform serving residential and commercial businesses. Working with electricity customers, large and small, we implement sustainable solutions for producing and managing energy, developing smarter energy choices and delivering exceptional service as our retail electricity providers serve almost three million residential and commercial customers throughout the country. More information is available at www.nrg.com. Connect with NRG Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @nrgenergy.