Dec. 5, 2013, Lethbridge, AB - The largest anaerobic digester co-generation facility in Canada officially opened Dec. 4.
The $30 million facility currently has a generating capacity of 2.8 MW – enough to power 2800 homes. It has the capacity to produce as much as 4.2 MW in the future with the addition of new generating units.
The facility uses manure and other organic wastes to produce gas and generate electricity. It also provides a liquid fertilizer byproduct used by farmers in the region. The plant has the capacity to process more than 100,000 tonnes of organic waste on an annual basis – enough to fill more than 3,300 tanker trucks.
The facility is unique in that it is a privately owned, off-farm facility. Such facilities are typically developed by municipalities or to support large farming operations. The Lethbridge Bio Gas Cogeneration facility is also expected to become the first facility in Canada to incorporate patented thermal hydrolysis technology approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for the destruction of prions that cause BSE in cattle.
The computerized facility currently has six employees and produces energy 24 hours a day. A computer, iPad or an iPhone can manage it remotely. Regular engine maintenance occurs four times a year, and requires a two-hour shut down to complete.
It took more than 10 years for ECB Enviro North America to get the project off the ground.
"This is an important rural development project that has economic, environmental and long-term societal benefits through waste reduction, energy creation and advanced technology application," says Economic Development Lethbridge CEO Cheryl Dick. "We are pleased to see this long-term value added initiative come to fruition and appreciate the environmental benefits this will bring to the region."
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