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

A grizzly that was spotted near Newens Road in Smithers has been captured, tagged and relocated. (photo from Facebook)
Smithers grizzly relocated south of Houston

Happy ending for four-year-old male who has been hanging around the Dohler Flats area of town

This weapon was seized by Houston RCMP after a traffic stop Oct. 14 (Houston RCMP photo)
Guns, cash and suspected narcotics seized

Seizure follows traffic stop on Oct. 14

This photo of approximately 10 years ago shows Laureen Fabian, on the left, and daughter Caterina Andrews. Fabian went missing last October and her daughter is looking for answers. (Contributed photo)
Laureen Fabian’s disappearance remains a mystery

It’s been a year since she went missing

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read