Alberta proposes novel hybrid Heavy Oil/Hydro power generation strategy

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An artist's rendition of how Quebec's lakes will look if this proposal goes through.

EDMONTON, Alberta – A new hybrid energy project being proposed for Quebec is attempting to prove petroleum and hydro energy sectors can work together. The hybrid project, while cutting edge and somewhat intimidating at the same time, may be the best hope Canada has at providing clean energy and reducing CO2 emissions by not burning as much fossil fuels.

The project is a two-fold strategy for energy production and oil storage. The basic premise is to utilize the buoyant weight of heavy oil and bitumen from Alberta, to hydrostatically force the water out of lakes throughout Quebec past turbines that in-turn generate electricity.

Ralf Tootinson

“It looks like we finally have an idea that will get Alberta and Quebec working together on energy and CO2 reduction initiatives. Our models show that this hybrid system will enable the great province of Quebec to step up its hydroelectric energy output by upwards of 115% after only Phase 1 is developed. And if proven successful, the idea in Phase 2 is to approach Ontario and expand the system to include the Great Lakes.” – Ralf Tootinson, Federal Energy Minister

The project requires pumping massive volumes of Alberta’s heavy petroleum into the Quebec-based lakes, effectively covering all of these bodies of water with up to 20m of crude and bitumen. The underlying water, by gravity assisted segregational compressionary forces, will be driven out of the lakes into dams and turbines on the perimeter creating enough clean power to run most of central Quebec and Ontario.

Project managers at Monteal-based SMC Bathalin (the contractor that will do the work) predict the project has a 100 year life cycle, with the remaining oil-filled lake basins providing the storage capacity to provide the rest of the world with raw petroleum long after the world finally realizes that solar, wind, and wave energy cannot replace oil, and when other energy-based nations have squandered their resources in conventional usage.

Generating employment is also an important factor for this project, as there would be up to 25,000 jobs created for the construction phases of the pipelines and turbines, with almost 10,000 residual jobs once the system is up and running.

Environmentalists have also applauded the proposal, saying that they’d rather have the oil contained in one place rather than spread out into oceans or long river ways.

Gracy Piegough, director of lakes with Greenpeece

“We recognize that this seems awful, but at least if we can fill Quebec’s lakes with oil, it won’t get into other watersheds or natural areas.” – Gracy Piegough, Greenpeece

A source close to the project told 2P News that it expects Phase 1 of this hybrid Heavy Oil/Hydro energy project to be live by the end of Q3 2020. She also told us, under conditions of anonymity, that the project might have less to do with energy generation, and more to do with Alberta sending a clear message to the East.

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