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

3/5/09Follow @xconomy

(Updated) British Columbia is bigger in land area than Washington, Oregon, and California combined, but has about one-tenth the total population. Yet pound-for-pound, our neighbor to the north appears to have its share of entrepreneurs thinking hard about energy alternatives that can be profitable while also better protecting the natural environment.

We’ve been on a cleantech kick here at Xconomy this week, having already provided detailed lists of the major alternative energy players in Washington and Oregon. So to round out the picture of the greater Pacific Northwest region, we put together a similar tally for British Columbia.

For those who missed our earlier installments, here’s the basic methodology. We sought to define the cleantech cluster broadly, including innovative developers of biofuels, solar power, wind, and energy storage, as well as smart-grid applications for conservation and efficiency. We left out other environmentally-themed businesses like green builders, architects, consultants, makers of biodegradable plastics, or people who install or sell things like solar panels.

We have identified 41 companies at last count in British Columbia (thanks to four new companies readers told us about), bringing the grand total of cleantech organizations in Washington, Oregon, and BC to 159. If you know of any companies or projects we’ve overlooked, please send us a note at editors@xconomy.com. And stay tuned for some trends and analysis from these geographic clusters.

Aeolis Wind Power (Victoria, BC). This company (pronounced A-Oh-lis) is developing large-scale wind power generation plants in western Canada.

Altek Power (Kelowna, BC). This company aims to convert manure from farm animals and food waste into biogas for electricity.

Alterna Energy (Prince George, BC). This company converts leftover wood, and other biomass waste into biocarbon for renewable fuel. It was one of 16 cleantech companies in Canada that received funding from the Canadian government this week. (Editor’s Note: This entry was added March 6)

Angstrom Power (North Vancouver, BC). This company has developed what it calls “Micro Hydrogen” technology for handheld electronic devices. It combines a fuel cell with energy storage and microfluidic components.

Azure Dynamics (Vancouver, BC). This company makes hybrid electric shuttle buses and other electric vehicles for commercial delivery. It says its technology has more than 25 million miles of driving experience.

Ballard Power Systems (Burnaby, BC). This company makes hydrogen fuel cells, which can be used as backup power for the telecom industry, as alternatives to diesel generators, and other uses. It is preparing for a “very tough” year, CEO John Sheridan said yesterday on a conference call with analysts.

Canadian Bioenergy (North Vancouver, BC). This company says it is western Canada’s leading supplier of biodiesel. It is building a 225 million liter per year (60 million gallons) canola-based biodiesel factory near Edmonton, Alberta. … Next Page »

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