The venue in Hamilton was filled to capacity at the 2015 Value of Biogas workshops. 173 people came to listen to 44 speakers in three streams, ask questions and engage in discussions, network, and learn about innovation, progress and challenges in the sector.
Thanks to all of our sponsors, who made the event possible.
Municipalities were a new audience in 2015, thanks to funding support from the IESO. The following municipalities were in attendance: Hamilton; Peel Region; York Region; Waterloo Region; Guelph; Toronto; Caledon; Quebec City; and Georgian Bluffs. While most were interested in source separated organics (SSO) processing, several are also investigating generating RNG for use as a vehicle fuel.
Participants learning about electricity production from municipal waste sources heard a range of presentations, including the energy production potential from wastewater treatment and SSO, an overview of the benefits of biogas from the Canadian Biogas Study and some current data, a presentation from the Biogas Association on the Municipal Guide to Biogas and associated business case, safety, IESO and regulatory considerations. Details related to planning and operating these systems were also provided. Many municipalities are transitioning to CNG vehicles to save money and reduce GHG emissions. RNG is a logical fuel to integrate, as it can be injected at its production source and piped to any vehicle fueling location. Municipalities can generate RNG at their wastewater or SSO treatment plants, or their landfills. The nuts and bolts of CNG and RNG conversion, the business case, technology and operational considerations were provided, in addition to case studies.
The agricultural sector continues to develop as demonstrated by a well-attended agricultural stream. OMAFRA presented best management practices related to digestate and the significance of soil health. IESO provided updates on the Feed-in Tariff Program with a focus on feedback from biogas stakeholders and possible changes to the program rules which will be posted soon. Participants learned about new technologies and processes, biogas business models, and mechanisms to optimize gas production. The day included further exploration of packaging small scale systems, grid connections, safety, and nutrient management requirements.
This year’s tour sold out, and included the four sites. Hamilton will soon fuel its new CNG bus fleet with RNG, and calculate the associated GHG reductions. Tour attendees saw the gas upgrading equipment and metering station up close, and asked numerous questions of the tour hosts, including City of Hamilton, Union Gas and Greenlane employees.
Attendees saw the City of Toronto’s Disco Road plant in action, receiving and processing SSO materials. They learned about the details of the processes and equipment, and saw samples of materials in various stages of processing. The tour was conducted by CCI Bioenergy and City of Toronto staff. At the Woolwich plant, participants learned from hosts at Bio-En Power about different processes for industrial and municipal SSO materials, including odour containment practices and digestate management.
The Eilers Farms tour was hosted by the Eilers Family, and DLS Biogas, and included visits to each part of the system – the CHP, feedstock storage area and auger, the digester operations room including the valves, pumps, mixing and controls area. Tour participants appreciated the hospitality and refreshments provided by the hosts before they headed back to Hamilton to complete the tour.