Waga Energy commissions first RNG facility in Canada at Quebec landfill
May 25, 2023
By Waga Energy
Waga Energy and Énercycle have completed commissioning of the WAGABOX facility installed at the Saint-Étienne-des-Grés, Que., landfill, beginning on-site renewable natural gas (RNG) production. The WAGABOX is a prefabricated proprietary technology developed, owned, and operated by Waga Energy. Every year, the facility will inject up to 130 GWh (approx. 445,000 MMBtu) of RNG equivalent to 12.4 million cubic meters yearly into Énergir’s grid, enough renewable natural gas to heat approximately 8,000 homes. This
project will help to meet the sustainability goals set by the Quebec government in its “Plan for a Green Economy.”
Waga Energy, a global renewable energy company that specializes in upgrading landfill gas (LFG) to RNG, has commissioned a new facility at the Saint-Étienne-des-Grés landfill, located in Quebec and operated by Énercycle. Using the WAGABOX technology, developed and patented by Waga Energy, LFG is upgraded to RNG, a renewable substitute for fossil-based natural gas. The RNG produced is sold to the local utility, Énergir, and injected directly into its natural gas distribution system.
This new WAGABOX facility is the largest completed by Waga Energy to date. It is capable of processing 3,400 m3/h (>2,000 scfm) of LFG and producing up to 130 GWh (approx. 445,000 MMBtu or 12 400 000 m³ or 468,000 GJ) of RNG per year, meeting the gas consumption needs of approximately 8,000 households in Quebec annually. This project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 21,500
metric tons of CO2eq by reducing fossil-based natural gas usage.
Énercycle is the first North American operator to benefit from this innovation that is currently in operation at 15 landfill sites. The WAGABOX unit was built in Quebec by Waga Energy’s Canadian subsidiary with support from local contractors. Waga Energy builds the cryogenic distillation unit, which removes oxygen and nitrogen from LFG, in France as this is a critical component of the WAGABOX.
The Quebec government provided financial assistance for the project through a $3 million grant to assist with interconnection and project costs through the Technoclimat program. Per the 20-year agreement between Énercycle and Waga Energy, all operations and maintenance activities will be handled by Waga Energy and the two partners will share in the RNG revenue.
This WAGABOX facility was commissioned 24 months after the contract with Énercycle was signed, following a test phase initiated in April and receipt of the operating permit from the Quebec Ministry of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks (MELCCFP).
Located 150 kilometres east of Montreal, Saint-Étienne-des-Grés is Quebec’s largest local authority-managed landfill site and disposes of 180,000 of waste annually. The gas produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the waste was previously collected and flared. Now, equipped with its own WAGABOX facility, the site can produce renewable energy and will contribute to meeting the goal set in the Quebec government’s “Plan for a Green Economy” of 10 per cent RNG levels in the gas pipeline by 2030.
This is the first WAGABOX facility that Waga Energy has commissioned overseas. Three additional facilities are being built in Canada and two others in the United States and Spain.
According to Mathieu Lefebvre, CEO of Waga Energy: “The successful commissioning of North America’s first WAGABOX unit marks a key milestone in the rollout of our solution designed to tackle climate change and promote the energy transition. This first unit outside France is also Waga Energy’s largest, proving our ability to deploy our innovative technology throughout the world, drawing on our teams’ expertise and the dynamism of local ecosystems. Renewable natural gas is a clean and local energy source that harnesses the potential of landfill waste and directly substitutes fossil-based energy for heating and transportation, making it a key driver of the energy transition. A shared commitment to preserving the common good provided the basis of cooperation with our partners in Quebec, particularly Énergir and Énercycle, which proved pivotal to the success of this fantastic project rooted in the region and anchored in the long term.”
Michel Angers, president of Énercycle: “We are extremely proud to be the first in Canada to benefit from a WAGABOX unit. For us though, the main reason this is such a great moment is that we can at last fully tap the potential of the biogas produced by our landfill site and turn an expense into a revenue stream.”
Renault-François Lortie, Énergir vice-president, customers and gas supply: “Our target of 10 per cent RNG injection by 2030 is a minimum requirement. When it comes to achieving this goal, every project counts and makes a difference, as we have seen in Saint-Étienne-des-Grès, which is now Quebec’s sixth project injecting RNG into Énergir’s grid. Once again, collaboration and innovation have provided the basis for a successful project. I’d like to pay tribute to the work of Waga Energy and Énercycle: their expertise and vision are getting things moving in the Quebec RNG industry.”
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