Stonecrest Engineering is the engineering consulting firm for Rural Green Energy (RGE), a company in Oxford County, Ontario that is developing a Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) project for use as a vehicle fuel. The RNG project involves four partners including: a beef farm hosting a proposed anaerobic digester, a dairy farmer, and two other local business people. Nick Hendry is the project manager overseeing construction of the compressed natural gas (CNG) station for Rural Green Energy near Woodstock, Ontario. As part of the RGE project, a 1 MW equivalent anaerobic digester will be built to process manure on the cattle farm of John Ysselstein. The biogas produced on the farm will be cleaned, compressed and transported via a Union Gas pipeline to the RGE station. In this process it will be blended at a rate of 10% with fossil natural gas. Once the station is open, it will have the capacity to serve up to 200 trucks a day, and have the ability to supply a virtual pipeline to supply remote users with clean burning natural gas and RNG. Converting vehicles to run on CNG has been a major undertaking for the project with seven Class 8 trucks, and one farm tractor already converted and eight more trucks in the process of being converted.
The construction of the CNG fuelling station was partially funded by the Ontario Rural Economic Development Fund ($500,000). Additional funding is needed to finance the $7 million project, which includes the CNG station and the anaerobic digester. The project currently has a Notice of Intent submitted to the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium to assist with funding the project as a pilot agriculturally-sourced RNG to transportation fuel project. The intent is to build the backbone infrastructure for research and innovation in alternative transportation fuels at the heart of Ontario manufacturing and transportation corridor. The location is strategically located in close proximity to a robust renewable energy hub, universities, the 401 and 403 highways, large electrical transmission lines and natural gas distribution infrastructure. This provides a key recipe to incubate the required research and development and to push the industry forward.
Nick Hendry is a member of CBA’s RNG Working Group, which is exploring how best to develop renewable natural gas in Ontario. Other members of the working group include gas utilities, municipalities and natural gas entrepreneurs. He also is the CBA’s technical representative to the CSA renewable natural gas working group, and sits on the TSSA risk reduction group for compressed natural gas.
Nick is also a part owner of Faromor CNG Corp, a technology provider to the project. Faromor provides compression equipment, the transportation of dangerous goods and other miscellaneous services to RGE and the compressed natural gas industry.
“Capturing gases like methane through anaerobic digestion to use as fuel for trucking purposes produces nearly carbon neutral emissions, depending on the digester feed stock. This project will further Ontario’s climate change initiative by lowering greenhouse gas emissions in the province while at the same time providing a viable alternative fuel for the trucking industry. Stonecrest Engineering and Faromor greatly appreciate the work of the Canadian Biogas Association, particularly the Closing the Loop project, and values the continued industry support provided to the Rural Green Energy initiative. ” said Nick Hendry.