Atco Energy Solutions is beginning construction on a renewable natural gas project.Click image to enlargeATCO Energy Solutions and partner Future Fuel Ltd. have received provincial funding to build and operate a renewable natural gas (RNG) facility near Vegreville, Alta.

Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) has committed $7.9M to the project through its Natural Gas Challenge. This investment comes from the Government of Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund.

The Two Hills RNG Facility will be ATCO's first commercial RNG production facility and a strategic investment in the company’s clean fuels strategy. RNG is a renewable fuel produced by capturing methane emissions which would otherwise be released to the atmosphere.

The RNG facility combines organic waste from nearby municipalities with agricultural waste to produce approximately 230,000 gigajoules per year of renewable natural gas, enough to fuel 2,500 homes, that will enter the natural gas grid under a long-term sales contract. This project will lead to the avoidance of up to 20,000 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

Future Fuel, with deep experience in biofuels and agricultural biomass, is a key partner in developing the project and expanding the reach of the facility to new markets. The construction and operation of the facility will be managed by ATCO Energy Solutions.

"This facility is an important investment in the advancement of ATCO's clean fuels strategy," said Bob Jones, president, ATCO Energy Solutions. "ATCO is leading the shift to a lower-carbon energy system by enabling our customers' energy transition to cleaner fuels such as renewable natural gas and hydrogen. We are actively investing in sustainable energy projects – here in Alberta and globally – in an effort to decarbonize the way we live and work, in support of a safe, reliable, affordable and cleaner energy future."

While Canada currently produces approximately six (6) petajoules (PJ) of RNG per year, it has the potential to generate more than 150 PJ per year from various organics feedstocks, according to industry estimates—the equivalent to supplying 1.5 million Canadian homes with renewable natural gas.

The project is undergoing detailed engineering work, with some construction activities expected to take place in 2021. Full commercial operation of the project is expected in late 2022.

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