Mayor John Tory announced Tuesday that Toronto will start producing renewable gas (RNG) from Green Bin organic waste and injecting it into the natural gas grid in the coming weeks.
A biogas upgrading facility set up in collaboration with Enbridge Gas Inc. at the Dufferin Solid Waste Management Services will turn Green Bin organics into RNG and inject it into the natural gas grid. It will be used to power vehicles and heat City-owned facilities.
“This project represents a path to low-carbon fuel for the City and will play an important role in helping us reach our TransformTO goal of becoming net zero by 2050 or sooner,” said Mayor John Tory. “Climate action remains a top priority for Toronto, with climate change and resilience identified as one of the focuses of the City’s COVID-19 recovery and rebuild work.”
The Dufferin RNG facility is expected to produce 3.3 million cubic metres of RNG each year. This will result in a fuel blend that is approximately 7 per cent RNG, according to a statement from the City. By capturing the biogas instead of flaring/burning it off, the facility will also avoid more than 9,000 tonnes of carbon being released into the atmosphere annually. Toronto will not start using the gas until the beginning of 2022, to ensure production capacity has stabilized. Until then, the gas will be stored in the grid, the statement read.
Cynthia Hansen, Executive Vice President & President, Gas Distribution & Storage, Enbridge said: “RNG presents a tremendous opportunity to decarbonize our economy more affordably by leveraging existing energy infrastructure, while at the same time stimulating regional economic development. This initiative is a practical example of the many ways that natural gas, working as part of an integrated system, can collaborate in a net-zero carbon future.”
Toronto has also identified potential biogas/landfill gas upgrading opportunities at several other City waste facilities including the Disco Road Solid Waste Management Facility, Green Lane Landfill and Keele Valley Landfill. All of the sites combined have the potential to produce enough gas to fuel the City’s entire natural gas needs annually (excluding City Agency, Boards and Commissions). The next facility to receive RNG infrastructure will be the Disco Road Solid Waste Management Facility, with plans to have the site up and running by the end of 2023.
The project, which is said to be one of the first of its kind in North America, supports Toronto’s goal of becoming Ontario’s first city with a circular economy.