Fortis (TSX: FTS) subsidiary, FortisBC Energy, anticipates producing enough low-carbon renewable natural gas (RNG) to meet the gas needs to approximately 2,000 B.C. homes after partnering with Dicklands Farms in Chilliwack on Thursday.
Dicklands Farms uses anaerobic digestion and a biogas upgrading plant to produce RNG from the manure of the farm’s dairy cows and other locally produced organic food waste.
RNG is a low-carbon fuel derived from organic sources that uses existing carbon within the ecosystem and contributes fewer new carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere than conventional natural gas.
The gas is produced when bacteria break down organic waste from sources such as landfills, agricultural farms, and wastewater from treatment facilities. FortisBC captures and purifies this methane, which would otherwise escape into the atmosphere, by working with local farms, landfills, green energy companies, and municipalities.
RNG mixes seamlessly into the existing natural gas infrastructure and decarbonizes the natural gas supply, displacing equivalent volumes of conventional natural gas and reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions.
“With Dicklands Farms and the existing Fraser Valley Biogas project, the residents of the Fraser Valley can be proud of how much their community is helping advance a lower-carbon future in B.C.,” said Jenelle De La Cour, manager, renewable gas accounts with FortisBC.
“The more RNG we have, the less conventional natural gas we need. Every RNG project is a win for climate action.”
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Dickland Farms produces RNG from organic food waste
FortisBC’s RNG program already has over 11,500 B.C. homes and businesses subscribed to it, and the company projects that by 2030, there will be enough renewable and low-carbon gas in the system to meet the annual gas needs of close to 345,000 B.C. homes.
Beyond RNG, suppliers have the potential to produce byproducts that can be utilized as organic fertilizer, mulch, or hygienic bedding material for livestock. These nutrient-rich byproducts can serve as a substitute or reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, which may help local farmers become less dependent on them. This move towards using more sustainable and natural alternatives to chemical fertilizers can have positive implications for the environment and public health.
“Turning our agricultural manure and local food waste into RNG, organic fertilizer pellets and clean water is a great way for us to diversify the farm’s revenue streams, while also operating the farm in a more sustainable manner in line with our values” said George Dick, Dicklands Farms owner.
FortisBC’s RNG program has several suppliers that contribute to production. These suppliers include Glenmore Landfill, Salmon Arm Landfill, and Archaea Energy.
Fortis shares dropped 0.2 per cent today and are trading at $59.92 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
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