Terasen Gas helps B.C. tackle climate change with biogas program

BCUC application submitted to deliver pipeline-quality biogas into Terasen Gas network

SURREY, BC, June 8 /CNW/ - Terasen Gas has applied to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) for a new renewable energy program. If approved, residential customers will be able to sign up for 10 per cent of their natural gas usage to be delivered to the Terasen Gas network when available from Terasen Gas' biogas projects. Terasen Gas has also applied to implement two projects that will upgrade raw biogas into pipeline-quality biogas, known as biomethane, to be added to Terasen Gas' distribution system. A decision from the BCUC is expected by the end of the summer, with the new program to start in the fall of 2010.

"As one of the first utility companies in Canada to include alternative energy solutions as part of its regulated energy service offerings, we are committed to making long term energy investments that will help address B.C.'s climate change goals," said Doug Stout, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, Terasen Gas. "Delivering biomethane through our distribution system makes good sense and is a natural extension of the energy services we've provided customers for more than a century."

If the application is approved, residential customers will be able to subscribe to the program through approximately a 10 per cent premium on their natural gas commodity rate, or about $4 per month, depending on consumption. Terasen Gas estimates that total greenhouse gas savings in the first year will be about 13,000 tonnes, the same as removing 2,000 cars off the road yearly, and increasing to about 34,000 tonnes yearly by 2012. The use of biogas can also safely and efficiently reduce emissions from waste decomposition, which is 21 times more powerful in warming the atmosphere than CO(2). Terasen Gas has received a letter of intent from Central Heat, a steam utility serving about 9,000 customers in downtown Vancouver, to purchase biomethane as the program's first customer.

Terasen Gas' application to the BCUC also includes agreements with Catalyst Power Inc. and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) to collect biogas from agricultural waste and a landfill site, respectively. Terasen Gas has also 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 will be available to other commercial customers throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Interior, North and the Kootenays.

"As a leading integrated energy solutions provider, Terasen Gas has made important steps toward biomethane use, which will be one of the most environmentally-sound fuels available," said Christopher Bush, Catalyst Power Inc. "Not only is it a renewable and clean source of energy captured from decomposing organic material at landfills, agricultural waste and wastewater treatment facilities, but we can use it for heating applications, electricity generation or as a transportation fuel."

For more information about Terasen Gas' commitment to biogas as an alternative energy solution, visit terasengas.com/biogas.

Terasen Gas is mainly composed of the operations of Terasen Gas Inc. and Terasen Gas (Vancouver Island) Inc., both indirect wholly owned subsidiaries of Fortis Inc. Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada, serves approximately 2,100,000 gas and electric customers and has total assets exceeding $12 billion. Its regulated holdings include Terasen Gas and electric utilities in five Canadian provinces and three Caribbean countries. Fortis Inc. owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets across Canada and in Belize and upper New York State. It also owns hotels and commercial real estate 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


For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Marcus Wong, Corporate Communications Manager, Terasen Gas, Phone: (778) 571-3263, Email: marcus.wong@terasengas.com, Follow us at: www.twitter.com/terasengas

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