First-ever micro carbon capture unit installed in B.C. as part of FortisBC’s pilot program
Mar 15, 2018
New carbon capture technology reduces emissions and saves energy
SURREY, BC – FortisBC invests in innovative technologies that assist businesses in making sustainable choices while enjoying the benefits of natural gas. The first CleanO2 carbon capture unit was installed this week at LUSH Cosmetics headquarters in Vancouver, with the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) in Abbotsford scheduled as the next install as part of FortisBC’s carbon capture pilot program.
The pilot program uses first-in-the-world carbon capture technology that takes the extra heat and emissions released from commercial-sized boilers and furnaces and turns it into something useful. The unit captures carbon, which would otherwise be vented into the atmosphere, and turns it into sodium carbonate (soda ash), a versatile mineral used to make pharmaceuticals and manufacture glass as well as soap. In addition, the unit enables energy savings by taking the extra energy produced and redistributing it for heating needs around the building.
“This innovative technology helps our customers manage their energy usage and aligns with our province’s goals for carbon reduction,” said Jason Wolfe, director, energy solutions at FortisBC. “Our commercial customers are receiving the benefit of using natural gas and through this technology they are reducing their emissions and also being more efficient in their energy use.”
The carbon capture process can allow customers to reduce up to 13 tonnes of carbon emissions per unit per year. The technology also decreases energy consumption by up to 10 per cent depending on the boiler or furnace size.
"We’re a company that’s passionate about environmental issues and driven by creativity, so we’re excited to try something new and innovative to reduce the environmental impact of our operations. By using the carbon capture unit, we're hoping to reduce both the CO2 emissions generated by our processes and the energy consumption of our boiler,” says Dawn-Marie Barreira, sustainability & energy management specialist at LUSH Cosmetics. “We're using this opportunity to teach our staff about the technology and the potential for it to have a significant impact beyond our own facilities."
FortisBC develops pilot programs to collaborate with innovative technology and companies that align with its objectives in energy conservation, while servicing customer needs.
“The University of the Fraser Valley is very excited to be involved in this ground-breaking project with our partners FortisBC and CleanO2,” said Blair McFarlane, energy manager, facilities and project management at the University of the Fraser Valley. “Installing this leading edge technology will help UFV reduce our carbon footprint and aligns perfectly with one of our core values – leading environmentally sustainable growth in the Fraser Valley.”
Other organizations signed on to the carbon capture pilot program include Cadillac Fairview Richmond Centre and the Blue Horizon Hotel.
FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity and propane. FortisBC employs approximately 2,300 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,260 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 49,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Energy Inc. is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information visit fortisinc.com.