BC technology improves soil health information

In British Columbia, advanced soil detection technology and software is being developed and refined to provide farmers, investors and others with accurate measurements of soil carbon and a more detailed understanding of soil health.

Developed by Terramera, a Vancouver-based agricultural technology company, this technology will enable the development of the emerging low-carbon market to help meet British Columbia’s emissions reduction targets.

“BC is home to a growing clean energy sector and accounts for nearly 35% of Canada’s leading cleantech companies making a positive impact globally,” said Bruce Ralston, Secretary of Energy, Mining and Low Carbon Innovation. “Terramera demonstrates the kind of innovative thinking that is laying the groundwork for broad adoption of technologies essential to achieving the province’s climate goals. This funding is the irrigation that allows groundbreaking ideas to flourish.”

Regenerative farming practices have the potential to enable carbon sequestration, but soil carbon content is currently not easy to accurately quantify. With $1 million in funding from the province’s Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund and additional support from Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Terramera is developing low-cost technology for soil health and soil carbon quantification using proprietary sensors, imaging and data analytics as part of a larger platform called the Terramera Intelligence Engine. The project will lead to healthier, more resilient farmland as farmers are encouraged to incorporate sustainable farming practices into their operations, which will improve the health of farmland. Revenue for Terramera will be generated when farmers and landowners sell carbon credits in the emerging global carbon market.

“Thank you to the BC Innovative Clean Energy Fund for recognizing this incredible opportunity to both reduce carbon in the atmosphere and support farmers in improving soil health and resilience,” said Karn Manhas, founder and CEO of Terramera. “This supports the project we started with SDTC, building on Terramera’s expertise to deploy advanced soil sampling and carbon quantification technology in the field in BC and ultimately around the world. We look forward to getting these important tools into the fields this year.”

The Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund was established in 2007 to support BC’s clean energy industry and support the production of clean, renewable energy technologies, reduce costs and help protect the environment by reducing fossil fuel consumption .

This initiative aligns with CleanBC, the province’s plan to expand and accelerate climate action, building on the province’s natural benefits of abundant, clean electricity, high-quality natural resources and a highly skilled workforce. It paves the way for greater collaboration to build a British Columbia that works for everyone.

Quick Facts:

  • Founded in 2010, Terramera is headquartered in Vancouver and employs more than 120 people.
  • Since 2008, the ICE Fund has committed approximately $110 million to support pre-commercial clean energy technology projects, clean energy vehicles, research and development, and energy efficiency programs.
  • ICE funding is obtained from a levy on the sale of certain energy products – currently natural gas, heating oil and propane distribution systems.
  • ICE Fund partners include First Nations, universities, municipalities and many emerging cleantech companies across British Columbia.
  • ICE-funded technology projects include bioenergy, solar, tidal, geo-exchange, desalination, energy management, smart grid and waste-to-energy.
  • Projects funded by Sustainable Development Technology Canada are part of the Federal-Provincial Joint Call Partnership launched in March 2017 to support the development of pre-commercial clean energy projects and technologies.

Learn more:

For more information about Terramera, visit: https://www.terramera.com/

For more information about the Innovative Clean Energy Fund, visit: https://www.gov.bc.ca/innovativecleanenergyfund

CleanBC: Roadmap to 2030: https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/

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