Niagara Renewable Natural Gas Facility
The Niagara Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Facility is a joint partnership between Walker, Comcor Environmental and Enbridge Gas Inc. that will convert landfill gas into renewable energy for the natural gas distribution network. Niagara RNG is the largest project of its kind in Ontario and will meet the needs of heating homes, powering businesses and fueling vehicle fleets.
The Niagara RNG Facility is expected to start commissioning in March 2023. This will last several weeks and is the final step before we are fully operational and providing renewable energy to the community.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Renewable Natural Gas?
Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) is created when landfill gas is captured and purified. Renewable natural gas is interchangeable with traditional natural gas, but it is generated from biogas produced by waste in the landfill, rather than fossil fuels. The more reliance on renewable natural gas, the less reliance there is on extracting natural gas from fossil fuels.
The Niagara RNG facility will generate enough clean renewable energy from landfill waste to heat almost 9,000 homes across the country and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 48,000 tonnes per year.
How does a landfill produce RNG?
Landfill gas is generated when organic materials within the landfill decompose. Organic materials can be food waste, pet waste, cotton, linen, wood, etc. (anything made of organic material). Landfill gas is primarily composed of methane, carbon dioxide and small amounts of oxygen, nitrogen and other trace compounds.
Walker has a series of gas collection wells installed at our landfill to collect landfill gas and stop it from escaping into the atmosphere and enable beneficial use. To upgrade the gas, it needs to be cleaned to remove carbon dioxide and any other contaminant gases until the biogas contains only methane and a small amount of nitrogen. Our landfill gas utilization facilities are comprised of a series of technologies to separate all of these components and isolate the methane. Once isolated, the methane can then be injected into the natural gas grid where it displaces fossil-derived natural gas.
How is Walker protecting the environment?
Utilizing landfill gas to create renewable energy displaces the use of non-renewable resources such as natural gas, oil and coal, reducing the pollutants that contribute to smog, acid rain and climate change in general.
Combusting landfill gas also destroys organic compounds such as methane, which is 25 to 36 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas (we call them “greenhouse” gases because of their ability to trap heat in the atmosphere).
Why this location?
Walker has been and will continue to be committed to being environmental stewards of our industries and reducing our environmental impacts.
Generating renewable natural gas from our landfill is the most beneficial use of landfill gas. Our Niagara Campus site is ideal based on the necessary infrastructure (landfill, landfill wells, landfill gas utilization facility) to support this project and proximity to the Enbridge natural gas distribution grid. Having the renewable natural gas produced close to the distribution grid is an important factor in reducing environmental impacts.
The growing concern over climate change and the resultant focus on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions means we must look for every opportunity to build renewable energy resources. Developing a renewable gas project at the landfill is a meaningful way to contribute to health of our planet.