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Terasen paints pipeline green

Canada-based Terasen Gas has received approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) for a new renewable natural gas programme for an initial two-year period.

In 2011 up to 24,000 residential customers will be able to subscribe to the programme on a first-come, first-served basis.

The equivalent of 10% of customers' natural gas requirements will be assigned from local renewable energy projects feeding gas supply into the Terasen Gas network. As part of the biogas programme, Terasen Gas has also received approval to activate two projects that will upgrade raw biogas into pipeline-quality biogas, known as biomethane or renewable natural gas, which will then be added to Terasen Gas' distribution system.

Biomethane will safely and efficiently reduce emissions from waste decomposition, which is 21 times more powerful in warming the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. These projects will also help address B.C.'s climate change goals.

By subscribing to the programme, residential customers would pay about a CA$4 (€3) monthly premium to replace 10% of their natural gas supply with biomethane in the Terasen Gas network. Terasen Gas currently expects to make available for purchase about 210,000 gigajoules of biomethane in the first year of the programme.