A proposed bio-gas plant at the Toronto Zoo jumped a final hurdle last week when Ontario’s government approved its operation.
ZooShare Biogas Co-operative signed an agreement with the zoo to start converting zoo animal manure and grocery store waste into compost and electricity in 2014, but construction dates were later revised.
The Toronto non-profit’s 500-kilowatt anaerobic digestor will replace the zoo’s open-air composting operation, and give the zoo $50,000 a year, or 10 per cent of its profits, for 20 years.
After a long technical review, Ontario’s environment ministry has issued renewal energy approval to ZooShare, which the company’s executive director called great news.
“With this in hand, we can confidently say that we will start construction in the spring and be up and running by late 2016 or early 2017,” Daniel Bida said Friday, Aug. 28.
ZooShare, which recruited more than 300 community investors, already has a feed-in tariff contract from the Ontario Power Authority for power the plant will produce.
ZooShare must prepare an odour management plan, meet noise emission limits, monitor the quality of incoming biomass and ensure its proper management, the ministry said last week.
– Mike Adler