Biogas program will help British Columbia fight climate change starting in 2011
SURREY, BC, Dec. 16 /CNW/ - Terasen Gas has received approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) for a new renewable natural gas program for an initial two-year period. In 2011, up to 24,000 residential customers will be able to subscribe to the program on a first-come, first-served basis. The equivalent of 10 per cent of customers' natural gas requirements will be assigned from local renewable energy projects feeding gas supply into the Terasen Gas network. As part of the biogas program, Terasen Gas has also received approval to activate two projects that will upgrade raw biogas into pipeline-quality biogas, known as biomethane or renewable natural gas, which will then be added to Terasen Gas' distribution system.
"As one of the first utility companies in Canada to include alternative energy solutions as part of its regulated energy service offerings, providing British Columbians with biomethane makes good sense and is a natural extension of the piped energy services we've delivered for over a century," said Doug Stout, Vice President, Energy Solutions and External Relations at Terasen Gas and FortisBC. "Biomethane will safely and efficiently reduce emissions from waste decomposition, which is 21 times more powerful in warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. These projects will also help address B.C.'s climate change goals."
By subscribing to the program, residential customers would pay about a $4 monthly premium to replace 10 per cent of their natural gas supply with biomethane in the Terasen Gas network. Terasen Gas currently expects to make available for purchase about 210,000 gigajoules of biomethane in the first year of the program, which translates to an estimated greenhouse gas savings of about 11,000 tonnes, equal to removing approximately 2,000 cars off the road each year.
"This decision is an important milestone for the energy future of British Columbia," said Christopher Bush, Catalyst Power Inc. "Not only is Terasen Gas making significant contributions to help meet British Columbians' energy needs for today and tomorrow, but they have taken a leadership role in developing innovative energy solutions, such as biogas, so that all British Columbians can help the province achieve its climate action goals."
The BCUC decision also allows Terasen Gas to implement agreements with Catalyst Power Inc. and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) to collect biogas from agricultural waste and a landfill site, respectively. Earlier this year, Terasen Gas received a $200,000 grant from the BC Bioenergy Network to help leverage Terasen Gas' investment in the biogas upgrade system at the CSRD site. In 2012, the biogas program is expected to be available to commercial customers throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior, North and the Kootenays.
For more information about Terasen Gas' commitment to biogas as an alternative energy solution, visit terasengas.com/biogas.
Terasen Gas is composed of the operations of Terasen Gas Inc., Terasen Gas (Vancouver Island) Inc., and Terasen Gas (Whistler) Inc. Terasen Gas is a leading integrated energy solutions provider, focused on the safe and reliable provision of natural gas, propane and alternative energy solutions. Terasen Gas serves approximately 939,000 residential and commercial customers in more than 125 B.C. communities. Terasen Gas employs more than 1,280 people in British Columbia and is indirectly wholly owned by Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada. 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.
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