Carbon removal company Deep Sky will partner with Elon Musk’s XPRIZE to allow carbon capture teams submitting to the competition's final round a chance to pilot their solutions at its Quebec facility.
The partnership is XPRIZE’s first with a carbon removal project developer, according to a Deep Sky spokesperson.
XPRIZE Carbon Removal, the $100-million carbon capture fund supported by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, offers prizes to university groups, students, entrepreneurs, companies and community-based groups developing carbon removal technology at the 1,000-tonne-per-year scale.
Entrants for the final round of the prize will have the opportunity to pilot their technology, engage in prototyping and licensing deals worth at least $1 million apiece at Deep Sky’s commercialization project and lab, Alpha.
The offer will be open to any competing team that submits to the final round of the prize, regardless of whether they are selected as a finalist. The prize will conclude in April 2025 and distribute $50 million for the grand prize winner and $30 million among three runners-up.
Nikki Batchelor, the executive director of XPRIZE Carbon Removal, said, "We know that a range of thoroughly-tested carbon removal solutions will be necessary to meet global climate targets, and scaling this industry to gigatonne levels will not happen without the support and investment of visionary organizations like Deep Sky."
On Thursday, Deep Sky announced another partnership with Canadian carbon capture company Svante to study the feasibility of carbon dioxide sequestration in Southern Quebec.
How the partnership was formed
Montreal-based Deep Sky is developing projects to capture and store carbon dioxide from the air and oceans at scale in Canada. It has partnered with direct ocean capture startup Captura and carbon sequestration startup Exterra Carbon Solutions to create a constellation of Canadian carbon capture and sequestration projects.
Deep Sky was co-founded by Fred Lalonde, who is CEO of travel app Hopper; Joost Ouwerkerk, former CTO of Hopper; and Laurence A. Tosi, managing partner of WestCap and former executive at Blackstone and Airbnb.
Deep Sky’s new chief carbon scientist and head of engineering Phil De Luna, who is an XPRIZE finalist, introduced his employer to XPRIZE.
"Deep Sky is committed to reversing climate change, and becoming the world destination to launch carbon removal projects," Lalonde said in a release. "XPRIZE Carbon Removal teams present a goldmine of technological and scientific talent that can make a positive impact on our planet. We're thrilled to support the innovators working to make the impossible possible."
The Deep Sky spokesperson said if the Alpha site demos of the XPRIZE finalists are successful, it will consider incorporating their technology into its plan for commercial rollout at Deep Sky One, its planned facility that can scale up and commercialize carbon removal and storage.
About Deep Sky and its Svante cooperation
In a previous interview with SustainableBiz, Lalonde spoke of his fondness for the industrial model pioneered by Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX. He hopes to replicate it for carbon capture in Canada by harnessing the renewable, clean electricity and geology of Quebec.
At Deep Sky Alpha, the company trials the carbon capture technology of other providers. Deep Sky unveiled its intent to pilot Captura’s direct ocean capture solution in Eastern Quebec, and Exterra's carbon storage project in Southern Quebec in 2024.
Its ambition is to become a gigaton-scale carbon capture company that sells carbon removal credits.
As for its partnership with Svante, the two companies will fund research to study the feasibility of capturing, transporting and storing carbon dioxide in Southern Quebec, with carbon management consulting firm Sproule to complete the geological subsurface research.
Svante develops filters that capture carbon dioxide emissions from a variety of sectors, including the cement industry.
“By combining Deep Sky’s project development expertise with Svante’s ready-to-deploy technology and Sproule’s geology research, we can drive down greenhouse gas emissions and deliver carbon credits to the market at hyper speed,” Lalonde said in a release.