In a new green twist, a British Columbia landfill site will soon be providing Kelowna residents with a renewable energy source.
FortisBC has gotten the green light from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to engineer and build a landfill gas purification plant at the Glenmore landfill site in Kelowna. The plan will give B.C. residents a new energy source while reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the waste itself.
As landfill decays, it naturally emits gases. FortisCB will capture and purify those gases and inject the purified product into the existing natural gas system through which it serves customers.
The gas is expected to provide 60,000 gigajoules of energy each year, enough to provide heating and hot water for some 630 homes. By diverting the gases into its existing natural gas system, FortisBC is expected to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the landfill site by 3,000 tonnes per year, the equivalent of taking 600 cars off the road.
“We’re looking forward to getting started on this project,” said FortisBC vice president of energy solutions and external relations Doug Stout. “Not only is it a positive in terms of environmental benefits, it will also supply FortisBC gas customers in Kelowna with a renewable resource made in their own backyard.”
The gas, once purified, is no different that normal natural gas.
The facility that will be built to help bring the plan to fruition is expected to create a number of construction-related jobs over its 12-month construction period.
The plan, which is expected to be carbon-neutral and is expected to be operational in 2014, has been lauded by both the City of Kelowna and the B.C. government.
“Now that the project is approved, we’re looking forward to the next step of constructing the plant,” said Randy Cleveland, director of infrastructure planning with the City of Kelowna. “This is a proven technology that will harvest waste and produce a renewable resource.”