e-Zinc Wins $1M Grand Prize of Canada’s Charging the Future Challenge

March 30, 2022

The Government of Canada remains committed to building a clean energy future to strengthen the economy, create good jobs and support the natural resource sectors. That is why the government is helping advance innovative solutions that will get us closer to reaching net zero by 2050.

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced the grand prize winners of three Cleantech Challenges under the Impact Canada Initiative, a government-wide approach to introduce innovative approaches to help solve Canada’s biggest challenges. The winners of the Power Forward, The Sky’s the Limit and Charging the Future Challenges were announced during the GLOBE Forum 2022 in Vancouver.

The $1-million prize for the Power Forward Challenge – aimed at accelerating smart grid technology and in collaboration with the UK government – was awarded to Equilibrium Engineering for their Alba Nova project, developed in partnership with Scotland-based StorTera. Using an innovative artificial intelligence platform to predict solar and wind energy generation and demand of customers for the day ahead, the project in the Town of Berwick, Nova Scotia, introduced a unique smart grid solution that integrates intelligent energy storage, energy efficiency, renewable energy generation and demand-side response. This replicable solution will store renewable energy to be used when it cannot be produced, providing value to the utility grid and customers, while driving down greenhouse gas emissions.

Enerkem, based in Montreal, was awarded the $5-million prize under The Sky’s the Limit, which challenged Canadians to develop an affordable, cleaner aviation fuel. Enerkem develops and uses advanced biochemical processes to convert municipal solid waste, as well as forestry and agricultural biomass, into sustainable chemicals and advanced biofuels, including sustainable aviation fuel.

Toronto-based e-Zinc was awarded the $1-million prize through the Charging the Future Challenge, aimed at accelerating battery innovations that have the potential to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company developed a breakthrough electrochemical technology for storing energy in zinc metal. Its low-cost, flexible, and long-duration energy storage solution could help increase the share of the world’s energy markets powered by renewable energy.

Since 2017, Natural Resources Canada has invested $75 million in six clean technology challenges under the Impact Canada Initiative: Power Forward, The Sky’s the Limit, Charging the Future, Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative, Women in Cleantech and Crush It!.


“Our government challenged innovators to find breakthrough cleantech solutions to help solve some of Canada’s biggest problems — and they delivered. I’m proud to award grand prizes for the Power Forward, Charging the Future and The Sky’s the Limit Challenges to such deserving innovators.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources

“Canadian innovators are finding solutions to the world’s toughest climate change challenges, and we’re here to support them in this game-changing work. Congratulations to this year’s Impact Canada Winners on their achievements that are making our communities cleaner, greener and safer for everyone.”
The Honourable Bill Blair

President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

“The UK is proud to partner with Canada in the Power Forward Challenge, which supports innovative and disruptive proposals for smart energy systems to help us meet the changing energy needs of a net-zero future. I am delighted to see the success of this challenge in action and to be part of today’s awards, which will help make a clean future possible.”
Thomas Codrington

British Consul General in Vancouver, Government of the United Kingdom


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