A biomass crane handling wood waste. (CNW Group/FortisBC)

FortisBC invests in renewable natural gas made from wood waste

New project features a facility operated in Fruitvale, B.C., in service as early as summer 2021

FortisBC plans to offer renewable natural gas produced from wood waste to customers as early as next year.

The utility announced a new 20-year partnership with REN Energy International Corporation Thursday, April 30, for a project involving technology never before used in North America.

A production facility located near Fruitvale, B.C. will be owned and operated by REN Energy as part of the project.

Renewable natural gas is a carbon-neutral energy commonly generated by capturing methane released from decomposing organic waste. FortisBC’s project will use waste from forestry operations, sawmills and other wood product manufacturers.

“We are extremely pleased with our FortisBC agreement spanning 20 years, to provide RNG to our fellow B.C. customers,” said Philip Viggiani, president of REN Energy.

Viggiani said the production facility will provide an economic boost in the Kootenay region in the form of, “hundreds of direct and indirect jobs,” as well as in-community investments.

“And, of course, the clean energy product we create.”

Once operational, FortisBC said the facility will create a new use for forestry waste and help clean up bush residuals—effectively serving as forest fire mitigation in the province.

For Doug Stout, vice-president of market development at FortisBC, the project marks the beginning of a, “credible addition to energy production in the province,” since it relies on waste already generated by the forestry industry.

“I’d like to thank REN Energy and the community of Fruitvale for their partnership as we continue to work hard to reduce emissions and advance towards a lower carbon future,” said Stout.

The project was granted regulatory approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission last month and is expected to be in service in the summer of 2021.

As a carbon-neutral form of energy, renewable natural gas production helps FortisBC move closer to its 30BY30 target – the organization’s goal to reduce customers’ greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

FortisBC expects the project to produce over one million gigajoules of renewable natural gas annually, making it the largest source of RNG in B.C. to date.

READ MORE: Toronto stock market soars to near eight-week high on surging energy sector

READ MORE: Trans Mountain, LNG Canada say they are on track despite pandemic


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Alternative energy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lake Flashback: Museum preserves future, new hope for a pool, and a murder

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Cobble Hill man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Drivesmart column: The registered owner is responsible

Have you ever stopped to consider the risk involved in handing your keys over to someone else?

Aquatic Centre renovations starting soon

More space promised for crowded fitness and aquatic areas

Mary Lowther column: Nutrition in our food on the decline

When crops don’t contain the minerals they need, they cannot provide other nutrients we depend on.

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read