The British Columbia Cleantech Cluster: The A-to-Z List of Alternative Energy Players

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QuestAir Technologies (Burnaby, BC). This company is a developer and supplier of gas purification systems that companies can use to convert biogas into renewable natural gas to heat homes, create electricity, or power vehicles.

Sea Breeze Power (Vancouver, BC). This company is developing wind power projects, a transmission project to connect the grids of British Columbia and Washington, as well as a hydroelectric plant that uses “run-of-river” technology that doesn’t store water like traditional hydropower.

Sierra Geothermal Power (Vancouver, BC). The company focuses on developing and exploring for geothermal power. It has 90,000 acres in Nevada and California that are estimated to have 500 Megawatts of energy capacity.

SunCentral (Vancouver, BC). This company makes low-cost materials that captures sunlight to help better illuminate inner cores of buildings. Initial research was done at the University of British Columbia, and funding came from 3M, BC Hydro, and the Natural Sciences Engineering and Research Council of Canada. (Editor’s Note: This entry was added March 6.)

SyncWave Systems (Pemberton, BC). The company, in collaboration with scientists and engineers from the University of Victoria and Marinus Power of Houston, TX, says it will be able to efficiently and reliably convert ocean waves into renewable power. It plans to demonstrate the project off the West Coast of Vancouver Island in 2010.

Syntaris Power (Vancouver, BC). This company says it has assembled a portfolio of 42 applications to develop hydropower projects on rivers and creeks in British Columbia with potential to generate 600 Megawatts of energy. (Editor’s Note: This entry was added March 6)

Syntec Biofuel (Vancouver, BC). This company aims to convert waste cellulosic biomass into ethanol and other biofuels. The proprietary technology was developed at the University of British Columbia in 2001.

Switch Materials (Burnaby, BC). This company has raised cash from Vancouver, BC-based GrowthWorks, Ventures West, and Pangaea Ventures. It makes more energy-efficient smart window technology. They darken when exposed to the sun, and rapidly bleach on command when stimulated by electricity. The technology spun out of Simon Fraser University.

VRB Power Systems (Richmond, BC). This company is a developer of energy storage technology that is based on a “vanadium battery” approach.

Westport Innovations (Vancouver, BC). Founded in 1995, this company develops and markets engines that run on compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, hydrogen, and hydrogen-enriched compressed natural gas. Its technologies are designed to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, particulates, and other greenhouse gases while preserving power and fuel efficiency.

Xantrex (Burnaby, BC). This company, a subsidiary of Schneider Electric, makes products that convert raw electrical power from a central or renewable source into what it calls “high-quality power required by electronic equipment and the electricity grid.”

Yaletown Venture Partners (Vancouver, BC). This company raised $65 million in the initial closing of its second fund, which it anticipated at the time would grow to $100 million over the coming 12 months. The company plans to invest the new money in cleantech opportunities in Canada and the U.S. Its cleantech investments include Burnaby, BC-based NxtGen, and Kirkland, WA-based Integrated Fuel Technologies.

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