Residential Business Major Industries Transport Municipalities Partners About

Energy efficiency program - the power of solar

Are you familiar with our Solar Preheating Grant? Énergir is offering a grant for the purchase and installation of a solar preheating system for heating air (for heating or processes) or heating water.

Énergir provides a grant for this program of up to $200,000. The grant is $2 per cubic meter of natural gas saved using a solar collector connected to a system that runs on natural gas.

See the eligible solar thermal collectors.

How does it work?

If your company operates on extended hours and your preheated air or water requirements are high, solar thermal technologies are an excellent solution for reducing your energy costs.

Watch the video to understand how this technology works

Example of a concrete project

When Alcoa's Deschambault aluminum smelter, near Québec City, wanted to improve the ventilation of its casting centre, where liquid aluminum is transformed into ingots, it seized the opportunity to innovate by installing a solar wall that generated energy savings and reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG ) emissions.

Seizing an opportunity

The aluminum smelter's casting center contains a number of natural gas furnaces that are used to process pure aluminum into alloy ingots, in particular for the automobile industry. A project was underway to improve the ventilation of this building.

Solar preheating: A brilliant solution

Known for its sustainable development leadership, Alcoa's Deschambault aluminum smelter opted for an innovative solution—a solar wall in two parts with a total surface area of ​​​​​​​​more than 700 square meters. By preheating outside air before distributing it in the building, the solar wall reconciles two important imperatives: improving the building's ventilation and reducing the plant's energy consumption and GHG emissions when it's cold outside by means of preheated air.

Decisive financial assistance

A long-time partner of the aluminum smelter, Énergir guided Alcoa Deschambault toward a solar wall to meet its needs—a solution that harnesses clean and free renewable energy. It also supported Deschambault in their innovation process, allowing the client to benefit from a $200,000 Solar Preheating Grant under Énergir's Energy Efficiency Program – Renewable Energy.

Effective, sustainable results

Combined with other energy efficiency measures, the solar wall, which was commissioned in June 2020, increased the fresh air supply by more than 25% and will save more than 650,000 cubic meters of natural gas a year (a more than 70% reduction), while chopping GHG emissions by more than 1,300 tonnes.

"The realization of this project allowed us to improve the ventilation of the casting center and also to reduce our heating needs—before, we started heating the building when it was 10°C outside. Today, thanks to the solar wall and the other energy efficiency measures we've implemented, we no longer need to heat until it's -2°C outside. That's a significant improvement with tangible repercussions on employee well-being and our energy bill,” stated Alexandre Dubreuil, Environment Administrator at Alcoa's Deschambault aluminum smelter .

How to take part

Consult the Participant's Guide for the eligibility criteria, the grant calculation method, the program completion steps and the forms to fill out.

Participant guidance

Read the other subjects from this bulletin

Natural gas life cycle analysis
Natural gas price outlook
Changes in the Major Industries sales team
News about the C&T market

Photos: Alcoa's Deschambault aluminum smelter