Estimated to avoid up to 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions being released into the atmosphere per year
KELOWNA, BC, Nov. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Kelowna residents will be putting their waste to work with the announcement by FortisBC that it has received approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) for the design and construction of a landfill gas purification plant at Kelowna's Glenmore landfill. Not only will the project keep greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere, it will provide a renewable resource for FortisBC gas customers.
"We're looking forward to getting started on this project," said Doug Stout, vice president of energy solutions and external relations with FortisBC. "Not only is it a positive in terms of environmental benefits, it will also supply FortisBC gas customers in Kelowna with a renewable resource made in their own backyard."
The gas, which is given off naturally through the decaying process of waste in the landfill, is captured, purified and injected into FortisBC's natural gas system for use by customers. In its first few years, the new project is expected to avoid 3,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions being released into the atmosphere per year, the equivalent of taking 600 cars off the road annually. The total amount of renewable natural gas produced from the Kelowna landfill is expected to total 60,000 gigajoules annually, the estimated equivalent of heating and hot water for 630 homes per year. Over the life of the landfill, it is expected that the volume of gas will increase. Once it is purified, the gas generated from the landfill is no different than natural gas piped to customers' homes and businesses and is available for purchase as renewable natural gas from FortisBC.
"This is yet another source of renewable energy for British Columbians," said Environment Minister Terry Lake. "It will capture landfill gas that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere and put it to good use."
The project will create several indirect local manufacturing and construction-related jobs during the approximate 12-month construction of the facility. The estimated net-present value of revenues to be received by the City of Kelowna under a rate regulated by BCUC over the first 20 years of operation is estimated between $3.1 to $6.9 million dollars, dependent on the volume and quality of landfill gas harvested.
"Now that the project is approved, we're looking forward to the next step of constructing the plant," said Randy Cleveland, director of infrastructure planning with the City of Kelowna. "This is a proven technology that will harvest waste and produce a renewable resource."
The Kelowna landfill biogas facility is expected to be operational in 2014. The approval comes on the heels of the opening of the Salmon Arm Landfill biogas plant.
The product, renewable natural gas, will be carbon neutral, and is therefore exempt from B.C.'s carbon tax. Residents and businesses across B.C. can have 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.
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