Biogas plant will convert animal waste to energy

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A 500-kw biogas plant will operate at the Toronto Zoo and use animal manure and food waste to generate renewable, clean energy. Images courtesy ZooShare Biogas Co-operative Inc.

A biogas plant project that will generate renewable electricity from animal manure and food waste is planned to open at the Toronto Zoo next year.

ZooShare Biogas Co-operative Inc., has received a Feed-in Tariff (FIT) contract offer from the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) for North America’s first co-operatively owned biogas plant.

The 500-kw plant will turn manure from the Toronto Zoo’s animal residents, as well as food waste from local grocery stores, into renewable energy. The amount of energy generated annually will be able to power 250 residential homes. Additionally, the company compares the emission reductions to the equivalent of removing 2100 vehicles from the road.

The next steps for ZooShare include selling bonds that will be used to fund the project, and get further approvals from the ministry of environment and a connection impact assessment (CIA) with Toronto Hyrdo.

“Our long term goal is to grow the community-owned biogas market through education and investment in other projects,” ZooShare’s David Bida toldConstruction Canada Online. “After this project is complete, we are looking to build community owned zoo biogas plants across North America to further promote our goals and the value of organic waste, hopefully shifting the way people look at and think about waste.”

Construction on the plant is scheduled to start next spring; operations should begin November 2014.

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This rhino will help generate enough energy to power 250 homes annually.
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