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

COVID-19: RDN utility bills in the mail, deadline extended

Residents given until Sept. 8 to settle accounts

RCMP arrest suspect after attempted break-and-enter in Parksville

Resident provides description, cops nab 46-year-old man

Perfect Storm Group pushes for community-owned and operated primary care facility

Seeks proposals for development of feasibility study for ’Oceanside Campus of Healthcare’

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

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

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Most Read