FortisBC Energy Inc. is reopening its renewable natural gas (RNG) program to its customers on Oct. 15. The company has secured a new RNG supply the past couple years as a means of providing its natural gas customers with a carbon-neutral energy option.
FortisBC is forecasting a tripling of its 2020 annual supply by the year’s end.
“The reopening of the program showcases just how hard our renewable gas team has worked to increase RNG supply to meet growing demand in just two years,” Jason Wolfe, director of energy solutions, FortisBC, said. “Demand for RNG is still growing with over 350 customers on a wait list to sign on, and we are pleased to offer this program again as a way for them to reduce their carbon footprint now and in the future.”
FortisBC captures and purifies biogas made mainly of methan to create RNG. The methane is produced when bacteria breaks down organic waste from sources such as landfill sites, agricultural waste and wastewater from treatment facilities. The resulting RNG is a certified carbon neutral energy source, preventing the release of methane into the environment. As it mixes seamlessly into the existing natural gas infrastructure, it displaces equivalent volumes of conventional natural gas and lowers greenhouse gas emissions overall.
FortisBC launched its RNG program in 2011 and was the first utility in North America to offer RNG to customers as a simple way to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. Demand for RNG outpaced supply in late 2019, and the program was temporarily paused with about 10,000 customers subscribing to the program. Since then, FortisBC has increase its RNG supply.
Since the start of 2020, FortisBC has 15 new RNG supply agreements approved by its regulator, the British Columbia Utilities Commission. The company currently works with eight biogas producers in British Columbia, and three others outside of provincial borders.
Renewable gases, like RNG, are a cornerstone of FortisBC’s 30BY30 target to reduce its customers’ greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 and, within that, a goal to have 15 per cent of its natural gas supply be renewable by 2030.