ATCO building RNG plant in Alberta

ATCO Energy Solutions has partnered with Future Fuel Ltd. to build and operate a renewable natural gas (RNG) facility in Alberta.

Located north of Vegreville, Alberta, the Two Hills RNG Facility is ATCO’s first commercial RNG production facility. The site is an existing, idle RNG plant that is being brought back online.

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

RNG is a renewable fuel produced by capturing methane emissions which would otherwise be released to the atmosphere. The RNG facility will combine organic waste from nearby municipalities with agricultural waste. Inputs will include manure and other agricultural by-products, residential and commercial organics, waste from water treatment plants, and methane emitted from organics breakdown in landfills.

The plant will 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.

Alberta funding

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

Future Fuel, with 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.

Brian Nilsson, director at Future Fuel, said, “We are pleased to announce our partnership with ATCO Energy Solutions to recommission and repurpose an idle biogas asset in Two Hills County. This project adds organics processing facilities in the Capital region, offering a solution to both municipalities and the confined feeding industry for organics processing and emissions reductions. ”   

While Canada currently produces approximately six 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. This is equivalent to supplying 1.5 million Canadian homes with renewable natural gas.

RNG projects provide resource recovery solutions and waste management opportunities to sectors such as municipal organics and agricultural byproducts, which are striving to meet increased diversion targets and emissions reductions goals.

With approximately 6,200 employees, ATCO is a diversified global corporation offering services in structures and logistics; utilities; energy infrastructure; retail energy; transportation; and commercial real estate.