Setting up the Saskatoon Landfill Gas to Energy Project. Kelly Malone/News Talk Radio
The final step towards supplying green energy to 1,300 homes in Saskatoon was approved at council last night, as the city entered into a 20-year agreement with SaskPower.
"What city council approved last night was to enter into a Power Purchase agreement," said Kevin Hudson, manager of metering and sustainable energy.
"So we're piping the gas collected off the landfill to a power station we're building just west of the landfill. The gas fuels internal combustion engines and those are hooked up to power generators to produce electricity."
Council approved funding for an electrical transmission line from the landfill power station to feed into SaskPower's network. The cost comes in at $634,000. Last summer the landfill was capped with 18 inches of clay, followed by digging 29 wells to trap gas emitted from the landfill and those wells are connected to vacuum compressors that draw the gas out.
The city had the option of retaining the power and offsetting its bulk-power and gain 6.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. However, because of SaskPower's Green Option Partnership Program, the city can sell its landfill energy at a premium price of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. In one year under this program the city will remove 47,000 tons of Green House Gases from its landfill and extend its life for 70 to 80 years. That's the equivalent of removing 9,400 cars off the road.
Hudson said SaskPower can begin delivering its green energy at the beginning of 2014. Saskatoon Light and Power expects to make $1.35 million in revenues in the first year and according to Hudson, those numbers are conservative.