Provincial funding to help YVR go electric

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by Emily Atkins

A pilot project is linking Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to B.C. clean-technology companies that can help electrify its operations.

YVR has a net-zero by 2030 commitment and wants to become the world’s greenest airport.

The government of B.C. is investing up to $11.5 million to develop the new initiative and create a unique marketplace that matches innovators of clean, made-in-B.C. technology with industry buyers looking for clean-tech solutions.

“With the strongest economic recovery in Canada, B.C. is leading the transition to a high-wage, low-carbon economy,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation.

“The Integrated Marketplace Initiative is a part of a comprehensive economic plan that invests in our people, our communities and our environment for a better tomorrow.”

The project will provide small B.C. clean-tech companies with a platform to test their innovation on real-world challenges, while B.C. industry gets help solving challenging business problems. This will result in domestic customers for B.C. clean-tech companies and proof of concept to support scale up and export of B.C. innovation.

The Integrated Marketplace Initiative begins with YVR as its initial testbed, to support its goal to transition airfield vehicles, primarily ground-handling equipment, such as baggage tractors, belt loaders and stair trucks, from diesel to electric power.

“We proudly signed on as the first testbed partner with the province,” said Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority.

“At YVR we have a deep commitment to climate action and continuous innovation. That innovation can be seen with our digital twin and with innovations such as this to electrify our operations and reduce emissions. These activities will continue to propel us towards our goal of becoming net zero by 2030 and the greenest airport in the world.”

At YVR, an alliance of providers and buyers will work together to identify business needs and source and test made-in-B.C. clean-technology solutions that reduce greenhouses gases, increase productivity and improve safety.

The creation of the Integrated Marketplace Initiative is a key action of the StrongerBC Economic Plan.

YVR expects to invest $135 million over the next 10 years to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 and has signed the federal government’s Net Zero Challenge. It is the first airport in Canada to achieve the highest level of Airport Carbon Accreditation (4+ Transition).

YVR recently signed commitments with two Cascadia Corridor airports (Seattle-Tacoma and Portland) to collaborate on decarbonize aviation, including areas of ground support equipment and the development of sustainable aviation fuel.

More than 50 percent of licensed ground-handling vehicles at YVR are electric, and the airport has installed 94 airside charging stations for aircraft support vehicles.