2003 Energy — Co-winner 2
City Of Vancouver and the Cof Delta, British Columbia
Gas Collection & Utilization Project
Combined Population: 650,000
The City of Vancouver owns and operates the Vancouver landfill within the boundaries of the Corporation of Delta. The city expanded its active landfill gas (LFG) collection and flare system to include 156 new wells, and to bring in a partner, Maxim Power Corporation, to use the LFG. Maxim will construct a 2.5 kilometre pipeline and cogeneration plant. BC Hydro will purchase all the electricity generated under its green energy program, with a portion of the revenue returned to the city and the Corporation of Delta. The heat generated from the plant will power a greenhouse owned by CanAgro Produce Limited, reducing that company's energy requirements by 20 per cent. The expansion of the LFG system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 200,000 tonnes of equivalent CO2 a year, and capture 500,000 GJ of energy that will meet the needs of between 3,000 and 4,000 homes.
The City of Vancouver believes that sustainability "is a direction, rather than a destination." It has been a participant in FCM's Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) since 1995 (then the "20% Club") and has engaged in several actions as it works through PCP's Five Milestone framework. Even before that, however, in 1990, city council had approved a staff recommendation to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 per cent. The city uses a triple-bottom line approach to ensure that all economic, ecological, and social impacts are considered in its decision-making processes.
In 1991, as part of its commitment to sustainability, the city installed a landfill gas (LFG) collection and flaring system at the landfill to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and control odours. Since 1991, the heat generated from the LFG collection system has been used to provide thermal energy (through hot water) for the landfill's administration building. In2000, the city decided to expand the system to capture and use even more of the LFG.
The city's landfill is located within the Corporation of Delta, a participant of PCP since 1996. Delta is rural in nature, with over half of its land base within the Agricultural Land Reserve, a designation made by the Province of British Columbia under its Land Commission Act to set aside and preserve the province's most valuable agricultural lands for farming. Delta's environmental stewardship program incorporates many sustainable practices, including a "Power Smart" program to audit buildings for energy efficiency, a vehicle fleet initiative that includes alternative fuels, and an overarching purchasing policy that helps raise awareness in the municipal workplace and foster a market for recycled and environmentally sensitive products.
- GHG emissions will be reduced by 200,000 tonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide (e- CO2) per year, the equivalent of removing 40,000 automobiles from the road.
- 500,000 gigajoules of energy will be captured, the equivalent of the energy requirements for up to 4,000 homes.
- The electricity generated at the cogeneration plant will produce approximately 5.5 MW of electrical energy per year, the equivalent of the electricity demands of 7,000 homes.
- The city expects to receive between $250,000 and $300,000 per year in municipal revenues for providing the LFG fuel source, while Delta expects to receive approximately $80,000 to $110,000 per year in new municipal tax revenue.
- The total value of the energy produced by the project will exceed $3 million per year.
- All the partners involved with the project had specific interests and, as a result, longer timelines were required to gain consensus on a number of key issues.
- Initially, the project created uncertainty for the Delta community because there were few examples of similar systems. The Delta community was engaged early on in the process and shown how potential risks could be mitigated and what benefits would be derived.
- A secondary access road built at the landfill site was another concern because of its proximity to Burn's Bog, which is home to many rare plants and animals. The road was built along the edge of the bog and within the landfill site, reducing any potential environmental impact.
- A creative financing arrangement between Maxim, the city, the Green Municipal Funds (GMF), and Corpfinance helped to secure the necessary capital to build the infrastructure.
Partners and Collaboration
- City of Vancouver's and the Corporation of Delta's Municipal Councils, and the Engineering Services, Planning, and LegalServices Departments.
- Maxim Power Corp. CanAgro Produce Ltd.
- CH2M HILL Canada Limited