Roughly 8,800 more homes in British Columbia can become carbon neutral following the addition of three new renewable natural gas (RNG) suppliers in partnership with FortisBC Energy Inc., over the last three months. Approximately 800,000 gigajoules of RNG will be added to FortisBC’s gas system from three diverse sources – food waste from EverGen’s Net Zero Waste (NZWA) Project in Abbotsford, B.C.,m agricultural waste from Faromor CNG Corp. (Faromor) in Ontario and wastewater operations collected from Shell Energy North America (Canada) Inc. (Shell) in Iowa. To date, FortisBC is receiving RNG from both Faromor and Shell with EverGen’s NZWA Project coming online in the next year.
“Increasing the amount of RNG in our system is an important aspect of reducing our customer’s emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 and the provincial government’s CleanBC Roadmap,” said David Bennett, director of renewable gas and low carbon fuels at FortisBC. “RNG is an affordable and simple way to reduce emissions, without any expensive retrofits or changes to existing infrastructure.”
Increasing RNG supply is a key part of FortisBC’s Clean Growth Pathway to 2050 towards a lower carbon future for British Columbia. It’s produced from naturally decomposing organic waste, which makes it a carbon neutral energy, unlike conventional natural gas. When bacteria break down organic waste from sources such as landfill sites, agricultural waste and wastewater from treatment facilities, it produces a biogas mostly made of methane. FortisBC works with local farms, landfills, green energy companies and municipalities to capture and purify this methane, which would otherwise escape into the atmosphere, to create RNG for its customers. As RNG is a carbon-neutral energy source, it does not contribute any net carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and thereby can reduce a FortisBC customer’s carbon footprint versus conventional natural gas.
“Renewable natural gas helps keep waste from going to waste. Ten years ago, we were only collecting from landfills and agricultural operations and now we have come so far as to collect renewable energy from wastewater and soon wood waste,” added Bennett.
As RNG mixes seamlessly into the existing natural gas infrastructure, it helps decarbonize the natural gas supply by displacing equivalent volumes of conventional natural gas and lowering the carbon intensity of our entire gas system. Customers can subscribe to FortisBC’s RNG program and begin immediately using RNG without making any changes to their existing equipment.
Over the last few years, FortisBC has integrated significant additional volumes of RNG into its system, tripling the amount of RNG in its system over the last calendar year and forecasting to triple it again by the end of 2022. FortisBC is on track to meet or exceed its target of 15 per cent renewable gas in its system by 2030 – enough gas to meet the needs of more than 333,000 homes with carbon-neutral energy.