September 12, 2022 By Capital Regional District
The Capital Regional District (CRD) on Vancouver Island will contract Waga Energy, through its subsidiary Hartland Renewable Resource Group (HRRG), to design, build and operate a new CRD facility that will upgrade the biogas generated at Hartland Landfill to renewable natural gas (RNG).
This project is expected to reduce the capital region’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 450,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 25 years, the equivalent of removing 3,900 cars from the road or heating 3,000 homes with a heat pump instead of oil.
“Adopting long-term solutions that reduce our region’s emissions is a crucial part of the CRD’s commitment to take meaningful action on climate change and using renewable natural gas is an important step forward towards a greener future,” said CRD board chair Colin Plant. “Partnering with Waga Energy on the design, construction and operation of a state-of-the-art landfill gas upgrading facility marks a significant investment in the future sustainability of our region.”
The RNG that will be produced at Hartland Landfill is a carbon-neutral energy made from capturing and upgrading the biogas released from decomposing organic waste in the landfill. FortisBC will purchase this RNG and inject it into the region’s local gas system. As RNG mixes seamlessly into the existing natural gas infrastructure, it decarbonizes the natural gas supply, displaces equivalent volumes of conventional natural gas and lowers overall GHG emissions.
The WAGABOX technology proposed for Hartland Landfill has been successfully implemented by Waga Energy at 13 landfills in the past five years, with 12 additional facilities currently under construction in Europe and North America.
“We are very proud to start this partnership with the CRD to fight climate change,” said Julie Flynn, CEO of Waga Energy Canada. “Thanks to the WAGABOX technology that efficiently turns landfill gas into RNG, Hartland Landfill will actively contribute to British Columbia’s energy transition.”
A lifecycle GHG assessment of this project found that decommissioning Hartland Landfill’s current electricity plant, a facility nearing the end of its life, and building a new RNG facility at the landfill would be the most effective beneficial use of this resource from a climate change perspective.
“As communities transition away from fossil fuels, RNG will have a number of end uses where the shift to electricity is not technically or financially feasible,” Larisa Hutcheson, general manager of parks and environmental services with the CRD. “With this in mind, the CRD’s Climate Action Strategy includes fuel switching to RNG as a key tactic for meeting the organization’s corporate GHG emissions targets.”
CRD staff are currently making a number of operational and design improvements at Hartland Landfill to capture more of the biogas produced by organic waste so that it can be upgraded. As a result, the need for a larger facility was identified during the procurement process for this project and new estimates anticipate GHG emission reductions of 450,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 25 years, a 73 per cent improvement from initial projections of 260,000 tonnes in 2019.
Under this contract, Waga Energy will both design and build the new biogas upgrade facility and decommission the site’s current landfill gas to electricity plant by September 2024. Waga Energy will also operate and maintain the facility on the CRD’s behalf for 25 years according to terms that include performance guarantees. The CRD will continue to be responsible for the ownership and operation of Hartland Landfill, the landfill’s gas collection system and the new biogas upgrading facility.
Under a purchase agreement approved by the BC Utilities Commission in June 2021, FortisBC will pay a fixed price per gigajoule for the RNG and will be responsible for the costs associated with injecting the RNG into its natural gas distribution system. The new landfill gas upgrade facility will be fully self-funded through revenues from biogas sales.
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