FortisBC and the city of Vancouver have received regulatory approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission to produce Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) at the city’s landfill in Delta, B.C. This project aligns with the city’s and FortisBC’s shared commitment to develop more renewable energy and support the broader greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals outlined in the province’s CleanBC strategy.
“This new and substantial supply will bring us closer to our target of having 15 per cent of our gas supply be renewable by 2030―key deliverable within our 30BY30 Target to reduce our customers’ greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030,” said Douglas Stout, vice-president of external relations and market development, FortisBC. “This is our largest RNG project to date and the RNG generated from the landfill will be delivered into the local natural gas distribution system as a renewable source of energy.”
FortisBC works with local farmers and municipalities to capture and purify biogas created by decomposing organic matter to create RNG. This sustainable energy source blends seamlessly with conventional natural gas in FortisBC’s existing natural gas infrastructure, lowering the overall carbon intensity of the natural gas being delivered. FortisBC currently works with five RNG suppliers and owns and operates two RNG purification facilities on existing landfills.
Construction of the biogas facility will begin in 2020 and take approximately 18 to 24 months to complete. The city is committed to using the RNG in its buildings, vehicles and the Neighborhood Energy Utility. In the fall of 2017, FortisBC and the city of Vancouver established a memorandum of understanding which highlighted a range of activities over the next five years designed to reduce GHG emissions. This project further solidifies that effort by boosting RNG supply and use in Vancouver.
“This is a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts to maximize the beneficial use of the gas we recover at the landfill,” said Cheryl Nelms, acting general manager for engineering services for the city of Vancouver. “Conversion of landfill gas to Renewable Natural Gas, which can then be used in city vehicles and facilities, supports our efforts to address the climate emergency and cut carbon pollution by 50 per cent by 2030.”
Since 2011, FortisBC RNG customers have helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e) by more than 26,800 tonnes which is equivalent to taking more than 5,600 cars off the road each year. The expected additional annual emissions reduction from this project would be up to 12,500 tonnes of CO2e which translates to taking approximately 2,600 cars off the road each year.