Kruger Energy manages and operates the Lidya Energy biogas power plant that captures and converts into electricity the biogas generated by the Lachute landfill, where waste from the Outaouais region and municipalities north of Montréal is disposed of.
The product of decomposition of organic materials, landfill gas is composed primarily of carbon dioxide (about 35%) and methane (about 55%). Methane is a greenhouse gas 21 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide.
Transforming waste into clean energy
Clearly, landfill sites produce a great deal of biogas and can significantly contribute to global warming…but that's only if the biogas they generate is not properly harnessed and transformed!
Transforming landfill gas into a clean source of energy carries a twofold benefit: when burnt to produce energy, biogas becomes 21 times less damaging to the environment and it can also serve as a substitute for other less environmentally-friendly energy sources - such as domestic heating oil, for example.
Once it has been harnessed, landfill gas can be converted and used in a variety of ways. It can, for example, be re-sold as combustible fuel to natural gas users, or reclaimed to generate electricity, in which case the heat produced by the combustion of biogas can be used to power heating systems that serve the needs of commercial or industrial facilities located within relatively close proximity to a biogas-fuelled power station.
At the Lachute site, Lidya Energy’s operations are focused on the production of electricity. With a biogas conversion capacity of 127,000 cubic metres per day, the company is able to fuel its 9.975- megawatt power station and sell green and renewable energy to Hydro- Québec.
To this end, the company entered into a 25-year agreement with the public utility, in 2005, and anticipates the sustained production of 87 gigawatt-hours per year.
Harnessing and Transforming biogas
Harnessing and transforming biogas involves several stages, ranging from concentration to purification to cooling, all of which must be done before biogas can be burnt to generate electricity.
To optimize this process at the Lachute site, Lidya Energy uses technology that allows for acceleration or deceleration, as needed, of the landfill site’s biogas production rates. Modulating equipment including electromechanical and electronic probes and valves is permanently linked to a computerized control centre that monitors and provides quality control for the entire site.