Canadian Biomass Magazine

Features Harvesting Sustainability
Gaz Métro signs renewable natural gas deal


October 7, 2014
By Canadian Biomass

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October 7, 2014, Saint-Hyacinthe, Qué. - The city of Saint-Hyacinthe and Gaz Métro announced the conclusion of a draft agreement for the purchase and injection of renewable natural gas produced in the city's biomethanation centre.

October 7, 2014, Saint-Hyacinthe, Qué. – The city of
Saint-Hyacinthe and Gaz Métro announced the conclusion of a draft agreement for
the purchase and injection of renewable natural gas produced in the city's
biomethanation centre.

 

Under the agreement, Gaz Métro will purchase up to 13
million cubic metres of renewable natural gas per year for a 20-year period.
Throughout the same period, Saint-Hyacinthe will inject the gas into Gaz
Métro's distribution network through infrastructure to be built by the company.
A proposal is soon to be submitted to the Régie de l'énergie for approval.

 

Saint-Hyacinthe is Québec's first city to turn organic
matter into biomethane and subsequently apply it to its energy needs. Under the
terms of the agreement, the surplus will be sold to Gaz Métro, thus generating
income that can be put toward improving municipal services.

 

"Gaz Métro is committed to providing its customers with
natural gas produced in Québec. As a public service, we wish to open our
distribution network to the injection of locally produced natural gas, thus
ensuring the connection between producers and consumers," said Martin
Imbleau, the company's Vice-President of Development and Renewable Energies.
"Gaz Métro is particularly proud to partner in this project, which opens
the way to a type of renewable energy that absolutely must be expanded in
Québec."

 

A green pioneer

 

Saint-Hyacinthe implemented the collection of organic waste
in 2007 and has been treating sludge from wastewater through biomethanation
since 2010. This fall, the city is preparing to produce natural gas from
organic waste collected through the brown bin programs in the Les Maskoutains
and Acton RCMs. The bin contents will also be processed at the anaerobic
digestion plant in Saint-Hyacinthe, thus avoiding transport to external
composting sites.

 

Saint-Hyacinthe has begun recycling organic matter from
local agri-food businesses, who can now simply dispose of their organic waste
in an environmentally friendly manner and at a lower cost.

 

For the city of Saint-Hyacinthe, the project's total value
stands at more than $48 million, a sum provided in equal parts by the city and
subsidies from the federal and provincial governments. In a few years, the city
will amortize and then self-finance the cost of constructing its organic waste
reclamation and biomethanation plants.

 

"In 2016–2017, once our biomethanation facility is
fully operational, the city will make a significant annual profit, including
savings of a half-million dollars in fuel and heating costs for municipal
buildings and vehicles," said Saint-Hyacinthe Mayor Claude Corbeil.
"By maximizing the reclamation of organic waste from brown bins, residents
and agri-food businesses are taking a positive step for the environment and
generating a source of income that the city will be able to use to improve
services. Saint-Hyacinthe is proud to innovate with such green, profitable and
sustainable practices."


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