December 6, 2021

The Japan Herald

About Japan, Global Green Energy and Space Market

Instead of a coal mine, a renewable energy complex might be built in southern Alberta

2 min read

One of the Australian businesses that had suggested returning coal mining to Alberta’s Rocky Mountains has recently announced that it will instead develop a green hydrogen production on the site.

In the latest investor presentation, Montem Resources Ltd. stated that it is developing plans to convert its projected Tent Mountain coal mine in Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass area to a renewable energy facility. Tent Mountain Canada’s first large-scale green hydrogen production facility, according to Montem, will integrate wind and hydropower at the location to produce up to a maximum of 13,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year.

Montem, among the many coal exploration and production companies that had newly proposed coal mines for Alberta, said it looked into the possibility for a hydro energy storage plant at Tent Mountain site in the year 2019, but that it planned to finish its original venture (a coal mine (open-pit ) on a formerly worked coal deposit) first.

However, the company has stated that it is rethinking its decision. There has been a surge of coal exploration over the eastern Rockies’ slopes and foothills in the last two years, but the corporations participating have not had an easy time, facing public protests as well as political and regulatory hurdles.

The Piikani Mountain Child Valley Society’s chairman is Adam North Peigan. The group has been an outspoken opponent of coal mining in the region. When asked about the news, North Peigan said, “It definitely caught my attention.” “I believe Tent Mountain has carved into the public’s political pressure.”

He noted that because the news is so new and the project is still in the planning phase, Mountain Child Valley Society does have their work cut out for them in terms of ensuring the land is respected. “As stewards of the land, it has always been our job to safeguard the ecosystem within the ancestral territory, and we will continue to do so,” North Peigan stated. “However, it appears to be moving in the correct direction in terms of environmental protection in Piikani ancestral regions.” “We thought we’d look at repurposing the assets here as a risk mitigation approach and to maintain our company here,” Montem CEO Peter Doyle said in an interview. “At first, we planned to do the coal mine and the pumped hydro after its life cycle.” We are unlikely to yield coal at all if we move forward with (the hydro project).”

Another Australian business, Benga Mining, which was the furthest advanced in the development stage of the coal companies seeking new mines for Alberta, had its Grassy Mountain coal project denied by the joint federal-provincial review committee earlier this year. Montem’s Tent Mountain project was also selected for federal review a week later by Jonathan Wilkinson, the Federal Environment Minister, who said it could discharge the pollutant selenium, which is typically found in coal-bearing rock and is hazardous to fish at high levels.

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