What’s New

On April 22, 2020, the Capital Regional District (CRD) announced approval in principle of an agreement where FortisBC will purchase renewable natural gas (RNG) generated from Hartland Landfill for beneficial use in its natural gas distribution system.

The project is expected to reduce the region’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 264,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over the 25-year project life.

This is the equivalent of doing the following for 25 years:

  • Removing 2,240 cars from the road
  • Heating 1,688 homes with a heat pump instead of oil

Description

On December 11, 2019, the CRD Board directed staff to finalize an agreement to upgrade landfill gas generated at Hartland landfill to RNG for sale to FortisBC.

RNG is a carbon-neutral energy made from capturing and upgrading the biogas released from decomposing organic waste in the landfill. It blends seamlessly with conventional natural gas in the existing natural gas system to reduce GHG emissions. 

In 2004, Hartland’s Landfill gas-to-electricity plant began using landfill gas for green power generation and currently supplies electricity to approximately 1,600 homes in the region. The volume of biogas being produced at the landfill has exceeded the capacity of this current system, and the existing infrastructure is reaching the end of its useful life. Two options were evaluated:

  • expanding the existing power generation equipment to sell more electricity to BC Hydro
  • installing a biogas upgrading facility at Hartland Landfill to upgrade this biogas to renewable natural gas 

Upgrading biogas to renewable natural gas will reduce GHG emissions through the displacement of conventional natural gas in alignment with the CRD Board’s climate emergency declaration.

gasplant-hhA lifecycle greenhouse gas assessment of the two alternatives found that upgrading landfill gas to RNG will reduce the region’s GHG emissions by approximately 264,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over the 25-year project life, a significant improvement over the electricity scenario, which would result in an approximate 2,800 tonne reduction. The upgrade to renewable natural gas will not increase the footprint of Hartland’s current landfill gas-to-energy plant.

The CRD and FortisBC are currently working together on a supply contract that will be submitted to the British Columbia Utilities Commission for approval. If approved by the commission, the CRD will continue to be responsible for the ownership and operation of the Hartland Landfill, the landfill gas collection system and the upgrade facility. FortisBC will pay a fixed price per gigajoule for the renewable natural gas and will be responsible for the costs associated with injecting it in to the natural gas distribution system. The agreement could allow for FortisBC to purchase between 140,000 gigajoules to 280,000 gigajoules each year for 25 years, starting in 2023.