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Hamilton rolls out Ontario’s first carbon-negative bus with Enbridge partnership


March 4, 2021
By Enbridge Gas Inc.

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Hamilton Street Railway's first renewable natural gas powered bus in Ontario. (CNW Group/Enbridge Gas Inc.)

Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) has become Ontario’s first transit system to use renewable natural gas. The province’s first carbon-negative bus is expected to divert 450 tonnes of organic waste from the landfill in a single year. It works out to be the same as 38 garbage trucks.

It will also displace CO2 emissions from 36,000 litres of diesel consumed in a year.

“Renewable natural gas provides an excellent opportunity for the HSR and City of Hamilton to continue our efforts to lower corporate GHG emissions and move toward targets outlined in our climate change emergency declaration and corporate energy and sustainability policy,” Mayor Fred Eisenberger said. “We are proud to partner with Enbridge Gas on this innovative initiative that will pave the way to ensure the future of transit in our community is energy efficient and sustainable.”

RNG vehicle fuel is upgraded biogas – the gaseous product of the decomposition of organic waste from homes and businesses that has been processed into green fuel. The green HSR bus operates with carbon-negative RNG – fuel that goes beyond net-zero – provided from the StormFisher facility in London, Ont., creating a circular economy in the province, achieving climate change targets, diverting waste from landfills, and supporting economic development, all while decreasing CO2 emissions and providing transit customers with comfort and reliability.

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“We are excited to work with the City of Hamilton and Enbridge on this transformational initiative,” Brandon Moffatt, vice-president, development & operations, StormFisher Ltd., said.  “The use of renewable natural gas as a carbon-negative fuel for public transit is a great example of the steps that need to be taken as we move forward into a net-zero carbon future, and supporting economic development and jobs in Ontario.”

RNG buses cost half compared to electric buses and have a similar fuel price as diesel. Diesel buses can be replaced one-for-one with RNG without compromising performance. Like diesel, RNG operates during freezing weather conditions, and refueling takes minutes, not hours. This demonstrates that municipalities can have carbon-neutral transit today without sacrificing performance, reliability or range.

“HSR is proud to have led the transit industry as an early adopter of natural gas to fuel a significant portion of our buses,” Debbie Dalle Vedove, director of transit (HSR), said.  “By leveraging RNG, we’re continuing our legacy of being one of the greenest transit fleets in Ontario and Canada.”

Today, there are more than 110 operating RNG facilities in North America, with ten of those in Canada. There are more than 230 RNG projects in various stages of development or construction in Ontario. With the Enbridge Gas turnkey, all-inclusive program, and collaboration with governments and partners, advancements are being made in innovative energy solutions and helping fleets switch to green RNG today – a cost-effective, low-carbon alternative to diesel fuel.

“The HSR is a prime example of a major transit authority recognizing the environmental benefits and financial value of RNG,” Cynthia Hansen, president of Enbridge Gas, said  “We’re pleased to support their efforts by supplying RNG, a cleaner fuel option that will help fight climate change in the region.”

In addition to RNG for transport, Enbridge Gas will soon offer a new voluntary RNG program which gives customers the choice to support the transition to clean energy through a small monthly contribution ($2) to help offset the increased costs of acquiring carbon-neutral renewable natural gas.