BC Bioenergy Network Invests $1.5 M in Fraser richmond Soil and fibre “Energy Garden”

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An innovative organic waste to energy demonstration


The BC Bioenergy Network (“BCBN”), a provincially-funded not for profit organization supporting the acceleration of bioenergy development in British Columbia, announced funding of $1.5 M to Fraser Richmond Soil and Fibre, a Harvest Power company. The project will establish an “Energy Garden,” an innovative municipal green (food and yard) waste to renewable energy demonstration in the Lower Mainland that will divert 27,000 tonnes of organic materials away from British Columbia landfills.

The funding will support two components: a $1 M loan towards the commercial demonstration of a High Solids Anaerobic Digestion (HSAD) plant that will convert municipal green waste (food scraps and yard trimmings) to produce electricity under the BC Hydro Community Based Biomass Power Call, and a $500,000 grant towards acquiring a pilot scale mobile HSAD testing unit – a “Mobile Energy Harvester” – that will be used initially in Richmond and later toured throughout North America. The Government of Canada has also invested $4 million for this project through its Clean Energy Fund. Over 50 jobs will be created through the construction phase and an additional 6 for ongoing operations.

“This leading-edge waste to energy technology demonstrates why British Columbia is at the forefront of clean energy technology development and utilization,” said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines. “This energy garden will not only create B.C. jobs, it will provide a blueprint for other waste to energy projects in B.C., Canada and the U.S.”
“This first demonstration in British Columbia of the innovative HSAD technology is an all around winner: it solves a waste disposal problem, generates value added clean renewable energy in support of the province’s renewable energy goals, and creates green sector jobs right here in the Lower Mainland,” said Michael Weedon, Executive director of BC Bioenergy Network. “We are very pleased to partner with a committed renewable energy leader like Fraser Richmond Soil and Fibre and Harvest Power, and work with them to demonstrate innovative technologies that hold great promise for application across British Columbia and North America.“

“British Columbia consistently demonstrates leadership in its management of organic materials and development of clean technologies, and it is an honour to be a part of the growing community of clean technology providers,” said Paul Sellew, CEO of Harvest Power. “We thank BC Bioenergy for their tremendous support, and look forward to continuing to build a resilient network of partnerships throughout the region.”

“About 40 per cent of all the solid waste currently disposed of, from homes and businesses in this region, is made up of organic materials such as food scraps, yard trimmings and soiled paper,” noted Metro Vancouver Board Chair Greg Moore. “That’s a resource that should be recycled as a soil amendment or used to generate energy,” he said. “If we bury organic materials in landfills, they generate methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.”

The Richmond “Energy Garden,” a term coined by Harvest to refer to its anaerobic digesters, will process 27,000 tons of food scraps and yard debris each year, using an innovative anaerobic digestion process that converts those materials to biogas. The biogas will then be used to produce more than 6,000 MWh of electricity per year, enough to power some 700 BC homes. The residual organic materials remaining after the digestion process will be further composted and returned to local farms and gardens as nutrient rich soil amendments.

In addition, Harvest’s Mobile Energy Harvester, supported by a $500,000 grant, fits inside a shipping container on wheels and will feature small scale versions of HSAD equipment. The Mobile Energy Harvester will initially be used at the Fraser Richmond Soil and Fibre facility, and then tour British Columbia and elsewhere in North America. The testing unit will evaluate suitability of digestion of organic waste streams, enabling local communities to evaluate and assess the economics, benefits and risks of deploying this innovative system. It will also educate communities on the direct connection between their plate scrapings, technologies that address recycling targets, and the contribution of such projects to the new bioenergy economy.

About BC Bioenergy Network
Established in April 2008 with a $25 million grant from the BC government, BC Bioenergy Network is an industry-led association that acts as a catalyst for deploying near-term bioenergy technologies and organizing mission-driven research for the development and demonstration of sustainable world class bioenergy capability in BC. Since inception, BCBN has made 21 investments that have a total project cost of nearly $75 million. For more information about BCBN, please visit www.bcbioenergy.ca.

About Harvest Power
Harvest harnesses the maximum value from organic materials through the production of renewable energy and soils, mulches and natural fertilizers. Harvest’s vision is to find the highest and best use for the 500 million tons of organic materials produced in North America each year. The company operates facilities in the Mid-Atlantic and West Coast of the US, and in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada. Harvest has grown rapidly since its founding in 2008 and has garnered awards for its business of energy generation and soil revitalization: the company was twice named to the Cleantech 100 Top Global Cleantech companies, designated “Emerging Company of the Year” by the New England Clean Energy Council, and received an SBANE 2011 New England Innovation Award. For more information about Harvest Power, please visit www.harvestpower.com.

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