Landfill Gas to Renewable Energy Projects in Niagara
Date & Time
Thursday, November 3, 2022, 3:25 PM - 4:25 PM
David Thompson, P.Eng., PMP

Over the course of my career at Walker Industries, I have thoroughly enjoyed working on projects that are not only economically successful but focused on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which are contributing to the current climate crisis. Walker Industries, in partnership with Comcor Environmental, has recently completed two renewable energy projects utilizing their landfill gas (LFG) which otherwise would have been flared onsite. Another LFG to Renewable Natural Gas project, in partnership with Enbridge, is currently being constructed and commissioned. General Motors Landfill Gas St. Catharines Co-gen Project: In Early 2021, the first landfill gas project was successful completed after over five years of development. For this LFG supply project, LFG is compressed, conditioned, and transported to four gensets at the General Motors St. Catharines plant which reduces GM's local carbon footprint by approximately 70% and lowers energy costs for the plant. The four gensets provide 6.4MW of electrical power, which represents approximately 35 per cent of the electrical consumption at the GM St. Catharines site. In addition, waste heat produced by these engines is captured and used by the existing plant equipment to provide heat throughout the plant. The combination of electricity and heat generation is what makes this a cogeneration (Cogen) project. A typical cogen uses natural gas to run engines.However, because of the proximity of the GM plant to the landfill site owned and operated by Walker Industries, a unique alternative approach was decided upon. Rather than using natural gas for the new engines, they could instead be adapted to run on the renewable landfill gas generated by the landfill and delivered to the plant through a dedicated pipeline. In addition to the Cogen construction, the dedicated landfill gas pipeline (stretching 3.5 km long) was constructed to connect the two sites, including a 450m horizontal directional drill (HDD) section that was bored under an old alignment of the Welland Canal. Behind-the-meter Electricity Generation Project: The second LFG project, a 1 MW LFG genset installed behind-the-meter at Walker's Niagara Falls Campus offsets the onsite. electrical load using its own landfill gas. It was commissioned in the summer of 2021 and is fully operational. The new genset will produce approximately six million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, reducing electrical consumption at Walker's Niagara Campus by nearly 60 per cent. Niagara RNG project in partnership with Enbridge: Construction is close to completion on a large Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) plant that will upgrade LFG and produce RNG to be injected in the local natural gas distribution network reducing the overall carbon emissions of the gas supply used to heat homes, power businesses and fuel vehicle fleets. Once operational in Early 2023 it will be the largest RNG facility in Ontario and will generate enough clean energy to heat 8,750 homes and reduce GHG emissions by 48,000 tonnes per year. All three of these projects demonstrate the ability to harness the power of landfill gas to reduce onsite flaring, offset electrical & fossil NG consumption and lower GHG emissions in line with provincial and federal GHG reduction goals.

Session Type
Engineering Solutions to the Climate Crisis