By: The Working Forest Staff
SURREY, B.C. ̶ FortisBC Energy Inc. (FortisBC) will reopen its Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) program to its natural gas customers on October 15, 2021. Over the past two years, FortisBC has been able to secure a new RNG supply in order to provide natural gas customers with a carbon-neutral energy option and is forecasting to have tripled its 2020 annual supply by the end of this year.
“The reopening of the program showcases just how hard our renewable gas team has worked to increase RNG supply to meet growing demand in just two years,” said Jason Wolfe, director of energy solutions, FortisBC. “Demand for RNG is still growing with over 350 customers on a waitlist to sign on, and we are pleased to offer this program again as a way for them to reduce their carbon footprint now and in the future.”
When bacteria break down organic waste from sources such as landfill sites, agricultural waste, and wastewater from treatment facilities, it produces biogas mostly made of methane. FortisBC captures and purifies this biogas to create RNG, a certified carbon-neutral energy source, preventing the release of methane into the environment. As RNG mixes seamlessly into the existing natural gas infrastructure, it displaces equivalent volumes of conventional natural gas and lowers greenhouse gas emissions overall.
FortisBC first started its RNG program in 2011 and was the first utility in North America to offer RNG to customers as a simple way to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. As more customers saw the value of RNG as a carbon-neutral energy source, demand for RNG outpaced supply in late 2019 and the program was temporarily paused with around 10,000 customers subscribed to the program.
Since then, FortisBC has worked hard to increase its RNG supply. Since the start of 2020, FortisBC has 15 new RNG supply agreements approved by its regulator, the British Columbia Utilities Commission. FortisBC currently works with eight biogas producers in British Columbia and three others outside of provincial borders.
Renewable gases, like RNG, are a cornerstone of FortisBC’s ambitious 30BY30 target to reduce its customers’ greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 and, within that, a goal to have 15 percent of its natural gas supply be renewable by 2030. The organization is on track to achieve its RNG goals, aiming to have contracts in place for around 24 petajoules of renewable gas by 2025, representing around 10 percent of its natural gas supply.
For more information on FortisBC RNG, please visit fortisbc.com/RNG.