‘First of its kind’ wood waste to energy plant opens in British Columbia

The facility will make use of waste from forestry operations, sawmills and wood product manufacturers to create syngas through gasification

British Columbia residents could soon get their natural gas from wood waste thanks to a partnership between FortisBC and REN Energy.

The companies have teamed up to build a ‘first of its kind’ plant which will make use of waste from forestry operations, sawmills and other wood product manufacturers and, rather than collecting the methane from decomposition, would create syngas through gasification.

This syngas will then be further converted to methane and purified to meet natural gas line specifications.

The project, which received approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission in March and is expected to be in service in the summer of 2021, will produce more than one million gigajoules of renewable natural gas (RNG) annually, ‘the largest source’ of RNG in the province to date.

FortisBC says the project will support the organisation’s goal to reduce customers’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% by 2030.

Philip Viggiani, President of REN Energy, said: “The plant, the first of its kind in North America, will create an immediate annual economic impact in the Kootenay region, as well our future waste-to-energy project regions will carry similar economic impacts in regard to the creation of hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, significant in-community investments and, of course, the clean energy product we create.”

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