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Canadian Space Industry

GHGSat raises $45 million USD in Series B funding to further emission detection satellites

Supported by the Government of Québec through Investissement Québec, OGCI Climate Investments and Space Capital, the funding will enable the company to triple the number of sensors deployed in 2023.

depiction of ghgsat satellite. original image source: university of toronto institute for aerospace studies

GHGSat, a Montréal-based satellite company specializing in greenhouse emission data has completed its second tranche of funding in 2020, bringing the total of its Series B funding to $45 million USD. Since its inception in 2011, the company has raised more than $70 million USD.

In addition to expanding its commercial presence in Europe and the US, the funding will enable the company to triple the number of sensors deployed in 2023.

A unique capability of GHGSat systems is their ability to detect methane emissions from sources 100 times smaller than those detected by other systems—according to GHGSat, this means that they can pinpoint emissions down to individual oil and gas wells.  

Currently, GHGSat has a constellation of satellites in orbit:

  • GHGSat-D (Claire): launched June 2016
  • GHGSat-C1 (Iris): launched September 2020
  • GHGSat-C2 (Hugo): launched January 2021 

While Iris and Hugo are designed to measure methane emissions, Claire is capable of measuring both methane and carbon dioxide. In October 2020 GHGSat announced that its Iris satellite detects methane emissions five times as well as Claire

In November 2020, two contracts were awarded to the University of Toronto's Institute for Aerospace Studies Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) to build the next three satellites, (GHGSat-C3, GHGSat-C4, GHGSat-C5). SFL built GHGSat's first three satellites.

The recent Series B funding comes from a combination of investment groups including the Government of Quebec's Investissement Québec program, OGCI Climate Investments, and Space Capital, a private space venture capital firm.

"The GHGSat project is a great example of technological innovation that is helping to propel the Quebec space sector and Quebec engineering to the forefront of the fight against climate change," said Eric Girard, Minister of Finance and Minister of Economy and Innovation via press release. "Our government is proud to support this type of initiative to build a greener, more prosperous province."