How can we create renewable energy from waste?

A family making dinner together while a boy placed kitchen scraps into a compost bin. (20-064.18)

Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) is about more than turning your foods scraps into renewable energy.1 It’s about harvesting methane from farm waste that would otherwise go into the atmosphere. It’s making energy out of wood waste. It’s taking trash and using it to power lower-carbon-emitting natural gas vehicles. It’s rethinking with industry and business how we can produce more of this carbon neutral, renewable energy source.2 Through a broad range of innovative RNG projects, we're constantly seeking new pathways to harnessing RNG, and continuing to build key partnerships across BC to make this possible.

Making Renewable Natural Gas

Creating biogas from wood waste

Instead of burning our wood waste, we can reap a second harvest from it. Located near Fruitvale, BC, the REN Energy Wood Waste project will be the first facility of its kind in North America. Using waste from forestry operations and sawmills, the project makes carbon-neutral RNG through a novel process that creates methane which can be used directly in the existing FortisBC natural gas system. Once fully operational in 2022, it will be the largest RNG project in BC to date, representing a major opportunity for BC’s forestry industry. It’s significant to our 30BY30 goal as it gives us a new means to reduce emissions, by turning waste that could have been a potential carbon emitter into a renewable energy source.

Renewing waste from wastewater

What if our wastewater didn't just go down the drain? In partnership with Metro Vancouver, the Lulu Island Wastewater Treatment Plant will take biogas produced from the anaerobic digestion of organic material in wastewater—made by bacteria—and turn it into renewable gas. The first of its kind in BC, the Lulu Island facility will be a model that could be adopted for other wastewater plants in BC.

Tapping into landfills as a renewable energy resource

It sounds counterintuitive to suggest that a landfill might be able to reduce some of its harmful impact on the environment. But when life gives you garbage, the Vancouver Landfill captures the methane produced there and turns it into biogas. It’s a significant RNG project, complementing the strong ongoing partnerships between the City of Vancouver and FortisBC. Another similar project, featuring the Hartland Landfill, highlights our collaborative efforts with the Capital Regional District.

Exploring inter-provincial renewable gas deals

In addition to supporting a strong RNG industry in BC, we’ve also signed our first supplementary supply agreements to purchase RNG from Alberta and Ontario. Developing lower carbon, renewable energy across the country improves best practices for the entire industry, raising the bar for renewables everywhere. All of our efforts combined help us move towards a 15 per cent renewable gas supply to offset other energy sources, getting us closer to our 30BY30 target by 2030.

Supporting RNG one household at a time

See how you can sign up for RNG in the future and reduce your household GHG emissions.

1 Renewable Natural Gas is produced in a different manner than conventional natural gas. It is derived from biogas, which is produced from decomposing organic waste from landfills, agricultural waste and wastewater from treatment facilities. The biogas is captured and cleaned to create carbon neutral Renewable Natural Gas (also called biomethane).

2 FortisBC’s Renewable Natural Gas has been designated as carbon neutral in BC by Offsetters. Biomethane Greenhouse Gas Emissions Review for FortisBC by Offsetters.