First of its kind project estimated to save up to 1,250 tonnes of carbon
dioxide per year
SALMON ARM, BC, Nov. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - Salmon Arm's landfill is now more
than just a place to store waste, it will now capture and upgrade
biogas derived from regional waste and deliver it into the local
natural gas distribution system as a renewable source of energy, the
first of its kind in British Columbia. The commissioning of the
landfill biogas plant comes after three months of on-site commissioning
and years of planning.
"This project benefits our customers by not only expanding our
availability of renewable natural gas but ensuring that waste is put to
good use," said Doug Stout, vice president of external relations and
energy efficiency. "With the successful opening of the Salmon Arm
landfill biogas plant, we're excited to be moving forward with similar
projects across the province."
The project began in 2011 after FortisBC received approval from the
British Columbia Utilities Commission. The landfill is owned and
operated by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), and support
was provided for the project through grants from the BC Bioenergy
Network and the Province of BC's Innovative Clean Energy Fund (ICE
"This is the first project in British Columbia to recover raw biogas
from a landfill and upgrade it to pipeline quality renewable natural
gas," said Shuswap MLA George Abbott. "Through ICE Fund investment in
projects like this, it is possible to protect the environment while
meeting the energy needs of British Columbians."
The biogas, which is given off naturally through the decaying process of
waste, is captured, purified and injected into FortisBC's natural gas
system for use by customers. The displacement of fossil fuel with
renewable natural gas, a carbon neutral source of energy, is expected
to initially save about 1,250 tonnes of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas
emissions from the atmosphere per year, the equivalent of taking 250
cars off the road annually. Natural gas produced from the Salmon Arm
landfill has the potential to total 25,000 GJs annually, the estimated
equivalent of heating almost 300 homes per year.
"BC Bioenergy funds best-in-class, first time demonstration biomass
energy projects that can be replicated across the province - and this
project ticks all the boxes," said Michael Weedon, executive director
with the BC Bioenergy Network. "FortisBC and the CSRD have shown how we
can both reduce methane emissions and create a clean renewable gas
supply for the province of British Columbia."
"We are committed to being a carbon neutral jurisdiction, and this
project helps us achieve that," said David Raven, board chair of the
CSRD. "We've created a model that can not only be used across British
Columbia but across Canada as well."
FortisBC's biogas plant will scrub out the impurities in the gas to make
it usable by customers. Once upgraded, there is no difference between
renewable natural gas from the landfill and natural gas that is
delivered to people's homes.
Renewable natural gas is carbon neutral, and therefore customers who
sign up receive a credit on B.C.'s carbon tax. Residents and businesses
can reduce their carbon footprint and support renewable energy in B.C.
by having a portion of their natural gas consumption dedicated as
renewable by contacting FortisBC at 1-888-224-2710 or visiting their
website at fortisbc.com/rng.
FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable
energy, including natural gas, electricity, propane and thermal energy
solutions. FortisBC employs more than 2,300 British Columbians and
serves approximately 1.1 million customers in more than 135 B.C.
communities. FortisBC is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the
largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. FortisBC owns
and operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants,
approximately 7,000 kilometres of transmission and distribution power
lines and approximately 47,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission
and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc., FortisBC Energy Inc.,
FortisBC Energy (Vancouver Island) Inc., and FortisBC Energy (Whistler)
Inc. do business as FortisBC. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the
Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional
information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com.
For further information:
Corporate Communications Advisor