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‘A green milestone’: FortisBC completes pipeline near Greater Victoria landfill

The Parkside Hotel and Spa in Victoria joined the project by also investing in renewable energy,
The Hartland Landfill, located in Victoria, began operating in the 1950s. (Black Press Media—File photo)

FortisBC crews have put the finishing touches on a seven-kilometre pipeline near the Hartland Landfill in Saanich, calling it a “green milestone.”

The pipeline is a connection between its facility to the Capital Regional District (CRD) gas system and the landfill.

In an effort to provide Greater Victoria homes and businesses with low-carbon energy options, the gas company said it is transforming decomposing organic waste into green energy, known as renewable gas. This renewable gas is set to become an environmental cog, said FortisBC, producing 200,000 gigajoules annually – enough energy to warm the homes of over 1,900 families for an entire year.

Critics dismiss FortisBC’s renewable gas strategy, noting the fuel made out of methane captured from sewage and landfills is still 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year span if it escapes into the atmosphere.

FortisBC says 15 per cent of its gas supply will be renewable by 2030, reducing customer emissions by 30 per cent and preventing the need for new and more expensive hookups.

But close examination of a study by the B.C. government and FortisBC backing the company’s plan shows biomethane will likely only ever make up a fraction of the province’s overall needs.

“I have trouble taking FortisBC’s greenwashing about sustainability and renewable natural gas seriously,” said Nanaimo city Coun. Paul Manly, saying the B.C. corporation lobbied Nanaimo city council heavily in advance of its recent decision on gas hookups.

With additional reporting by Rochelle Baker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter CANADA’S NATIONAL OBSERVER