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Renewable Natural Gas Supply Challenge


Challenge Synopsis

FortisBC seeks to grow and diversify our supply of Renewable Natural Gas to transition to low carbon sources of energy. We seek to cost-effectively increase Renewable Natural Gas to 15% of our gas supply by 2030 – a 100-fold increase from current levels.

 

Challenge Statement

Over the next 11 years, FortisBC plans to significantly expand our supply of renewable gases to a target of 15% by 2030.

To achieve this goal, we are seeking innovative solutions to expand and diversify our supply of Renewable Natural Gas while maintaining the reliable and affordable service our customers expect from us. This could involve expanding our current supply of Renewable Natural Gas from farms and landfills through new sources and processes, while also expanding to include additional sources, such as hydrogen and synthetic gas.

FortisBC is interested in knowing more from potential suppliers about new sources to increase our supply of affordable Renewable Natural Gas.

 

Context

In 2019, the BC Government released their climate plan, CleanBC, which seeks to significantly reduce GHG emissions in the Province by 2030. The plan recognizes the role of renewable gases: this ambitious 15% supply target represents a significant portion – 75 per cent – of the emissions reductions for the building sector in CleanBC, making it a key component to achieving long term GHG emissions reductions.

Across British Columbia, local farms, landfills and municipalities are teaming up with us to capture biogas from decomposing organic waste and purify it to make Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). We inject this carbon-neutral energy source into our system and participating customers can choose to allocate five, 10, 25, 50 or 100 per cent of the natural gas they use in their homes and businesses as RNG. That means the gas our customers use in their homes and businesses will reduce GHG emissions.

 

Response Criteria

  • Ideas and partial solutions that can reduce the costs of RNG production or that can be integrated with other partial solutions are of interest
  • Expertise in low carbon energy project development focused on gaseous fuels and waste stream management
  • Experience in working with utilities, research institutions, provincial and federal governments and with fundraising for project development and demonstrations
  • Applicants understand and demonstrate how their technology can be integrated into a gas distribution system
  • The technology must demonstrate tangible CO2 emission reductions

 

The Opportunity

In 2011, FortisBC became the first utility in North America to offer Renewable NaturalGas to customers. Renewable Natural Gas is a critical source of renewable energy that is helping the province achieve its GHG emission reduction targets. Since launching the Renewable Natural Gas offering to residential customers in June 2011 and commercial customers in March 2012, over 10,500 customers have subscribed to this offering.

We seek to expand our RNG supply by identifying new sources of RNG and secure these resources through long-term supply contracts. Though FortisBC has achieved important early successes in the residential and commercial sectors, new supplies, partnerships and innovation are all required to grow BC’s supply of Renewable Natural Gas to achieve our 2030 target.

We seek to expand our supply of other renewable gases as well.  For example, we believe that hydrogen will be a key driver towards reducing BC’s carbon emissions, not only as an alternative fuel to enable the decarbonization of heating, but as a means of storing renewable power (hydroelectric, solar and wind) and, through this, linking together the decarbonization of the building, industry and transport sectors. We believe in taking a system-wide perspective of hydrogen as a technology that further integrates the electric and gas systems by acting as a high capacity storage medium for carbon-free power generation and a carbon-free fuel for heat and transport.  We are open to other forms of renewable or synthetic gas.

FortisBC has an important role to play in helping British Columbia move to a low-carbon, renewable energy future. Millions of British Columbians we serve in communities across the province look to us to deliver energy safely, reliably and affordably every day. FortisBC seeks to be the energy provider of choice for British Columbians in a low-carbon economy.

 

About FortisBC

FortisBC delivers approximately 21 per cent of the energy consumed in British Columbia, the most by any entity in the province. We own and operate two liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facilities and operate seven hydroelectric generating plants, four of which we own. Our more than 2,200 employees serve approximately 1.1 million customers in 135 communities across B.C. We are committed to investing in projects that will make life more affordable for British Columbians, improve efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive innovation.