The waste at the landfill creates a lot of methane, which would typically be released into the environment. However, for close to 10 years it has been diverted through a renewable natural gas plant.
The goal is to replace conventional natural gas in B.C.
“This is a great start and it also makes use of local energy. By making use of local energy, we’re avoiding missions associated with transporting the gas over long distances,” said FortisBC senior manager Scott Gramm.
Fortis has received questions regarding the work done with the plant. Although they haven’t received any complaints from the public, Gramm said they are working to clarify any misunderstandings associated with the project.
“They hear the word ‘renewable’ … and then think Fortis BC is maybe rebranding, but we’re not. We’re taking advantage of wasted gas; that’s why it’s called renewable gas because we’re not adding any more new carbon molecules into the atmosphere. We’re making use of it and displacing conventional gas,” said Gramm.
The work being done through the plant is a part of the government’s CleanBC Roadmap to 2030. The report details actions needed to reduce the impact of climate change.
“A greenhouse gas (GHG) cap for natural gas utilities limiting emissions from the gas used to heat our homes and buildings and power some of our industries will encourage new investment in low-carbon technologies and fuels (including renewable natural gas and hydrogen) and energy efficiency,” the report read.
Fortis is also planning to create another facility based in the North Okanagan.
“In Vernon, about putting a similar plant on their landfill and that one, in fact, has received some federal funding because the government likes that project so much. It’s a much smaller facility, more akin to what we’ve built in Salmon Arm,” Gramm said.
Fortis is planning on starting construction on the new plant next year with the goal of having it up and running by 2025.