Taking methane gas from Regina’s landfill and turning it into electricity to power homes is now a reality in the city.
After contemplating the idea for several years, the Landfill Gas to Energy Facility is now up and running. It’ll take methane, carbon dioxide and other trace constituents and keep them out of the atmosphere.
“We’re taking about 30,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas, or CO2, out of the environment, or potentially out of the environment, and converting them to electricity,” explained the city’s Director of Solid Waste Lisa Legault.
It’s the equivalent of taking 8,000 vehicles off the road each year.
Legault said methane was previously flared off. Now, the gas, produced from the decomposition of organic waste, will be filtered by a system of pipes to the new facility where liquids and moisture are drawn out before the remaining gas is throttled into an engine, it burns, turns the engine and creates one megawatt of electricity. That’s enough to power 1,000 homes.
The city and SaskPower have entered into a 20-year contract, which started in January 2017. Legault said they’ve been operating quite seamlessly since then, estimating revenue generated will equate to about $1 million each year for the city.
“It isn’t an agreement where we’re obligated to provide them with the power. They only buy what we can sell,” she said.
The cost came in at a little under $5 million to build the facility, which aren’t uncommon among municipalities. Saskatoon has had a similar facility operating for the last several years.