Suncor divests solar and wind assets and focuses on hydrogen and renewable fuels

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Suncor Energy Inc. is divesting its solar and wind assets, focusing instead on hydrogen and renewable fuels.

The decision to divest its renewable energy assets marks the end of a two-decade foray into wind and solar for the Calgary-based company, which in 2002 partnered with Enbridge Inc. to build the one of the first renewable energy projects in Canada. Since then, Suncor has developed eight wind projects in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario.

Monday’s announcement is the company’s second major portfolio overhaul plan to come out in recent months.

Earlier this year it announced plans to divest its exploration and production assets in Norway and sell its stake in Rosebank in the UK North Sea. He expects to close those deals later this year.

Suncor President and CEO Mark Little said in a statement late Monday that the divestment from wind and solar would bring more “conformity and focus” to the company’s asset portfolio.

He added that it would increase shareholder returns and help the company meet its emissions reduction targets, including bringing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Specifically, it is focused on complementary efforts to its core oil and gas business.

This includes replacing boilers at its oil sands base plant with low-emission units, accelerating the commercial-scale deployment of carbon capture technology and partnering with energy company ATCO Ltd. to build a new hydrogen project in Alberta.

He is also interested in renewable fuels.

Suncor has already invested millions of dollars in Lanzajet, which has developed sustainable aviation fuel, and Enerkem Alberta Biofuels, whose Edmonton plant is the world’s first commercial-scale facility to convert waste non-recyclable, non-compostable mixed municipal solids into cellulosic ethanol, a popular biofuel.

Suncor said on Monday that despite the sale, it will still play in the electricity business, including producing electricity through cogeneration operations that use natural gas to generate steam and electricity. industries, and providing customers with EV charging.

He said he can also source renewable energy through power purchase agreements, in which a company or institution agrees to buy electricity directly from a producer. green energy. The electricity produced on the site is reinjected into the network, compensating for the quantity of electricity consumed by this company.

Arrangements are a growing trend in Canada as more businesses attempt to reduce their carbon footprint.

Suncor did not immediately respond to questions late Monday about what the management change means for the future of its assets, such as the Adelaide Wind Farm near Strathroy, Ont., which began operations in 2015.

He also did not elaborate on what the ruling means for plans like the Forty Mile Solar Power Project – an expansion of a wind facility that restarted construction in April 2021. The proposed 220-megawatt solar project , which will be located on private land in Alberta, was expected to be operational later this year.

Suncor’s announcement came the same day as the release of a new report from the UN’s Climate Science Panel, which says the world must rapidly accelerate its transition away from coal and other fossil fuels to avoid extreme climate change.

With a Reuters report

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