Federal money supports 19 new green technologies

A federal agency is giving $48 million in grants to projects that range from a self-erecting wind-turbine tower to a biosensor that can test water for as many as 100 pathogens in less than 30 minutes.

A federal agency that backs clean technology has approved $48 million in grants for projects that range froma self-erecting wind-turbinetowerto a biosensor that can test waterfor as many as 100 pathogens in less than 30 minutes.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) said Thursday that it hasapproved 19 new projects. It has supported a total of125 projectswith $285 million in grants since it started in 2001. Those grants to projectshavehelped to attract another $690 million in investmentsfrom private and government partners.

SDTC is intended to help take clean technologies out of the lab and into the marketplace by providing funding fordevelopment and demonstrations.

In the current funding round, the agency's tenth, the public moneyis accompanied by$101 million from private and public-sector partners. SDTC only gives grants to applicants who have otherfunding sources.

Among the grant recipients Thursday, 3G Energy Corp.will demonstrate "a self-erecting 100 metre concrete tower for wind turbines." Theturbine will be lifted to the top by a crane system built into the tower, which means massive mobile cranes won't be needed for the job.

"This practice is becoming a limiting factor in the deployment of wind farms in Canada — especially in small installations and remote communities — where crane use is very expensive or not even possible," SDTC said.

Early Warning Inc. plans todemonstrateits Biothreat Early Warning System to water agencies,food processors, industrial plants, hospitals, and tourist establishments. The system can prevent outbreaks of illnesses caused by water-bornepathogens such as E. coli by using ananotechnology biosensor to identify pathogens without the need for a laboratory, technicians, or expensive equipment.

Other grants went to a Nova Scotia Power project thatwill test a tide-poweredelectricity generator in the Bay of Fundy, acompany that has developed enzymesthat can replace up to 30 per cent of the chemicals used in pulp and paper production —which would reduce the amount of toxins released in the process —and a system to convert waste to carbonaceous ash and a clean gas fuel, for use innorthern and resort communities, and on ships.

The fuel "can be used to power the waste treatment system and provide additional energy to the user," SDTC said.

The agency has been allocated$550 million by the government since 2001, and is now setting up a biofuels fund announced in the 2007 budget.