StormFisher Biogas inks deal with Canadian food distributor

By Anna Austin
Posted October 21, 2009, at 4:06 p.m. CST

Ontario, Canada-based StormFisher Biogas has sealed a deal with grocery retailer Loblaw Companies Ltd. for the annual supply of 15,000 metric tons (16,500 tons) of organic waste to fuel its $15 million biogas plant in London, Ontario.

The agreement with Loblaw, a subsidiary of Canadian food distributor giant George Weston Ltd., is StormFisher's biggest deal since last year's announcement of plans to construct up to 30 anaerobic digestion plants across North America over the next five years. The plants will be funded by $350 million from private equity company Denham Capital Management, and range from 2.8 to 5 megawatts

The London facility is the company's flagship project, slated to commence operations in late 2010. The 210,000 MMbtu/2.8 megawatt plant will require approximately 140,000 metric tons (154,300 tons) of organic waste per year and be capable of powering about 2,800 homes; the amount of organic waste Loblaw will supply should be enough to power 225 homes.

The Ontario Power Authority will purchase the electricity from StormFisher through its Standard Offer Program, a feed-in tariff that was put in place in Ontario at the beginning of 2007. According to the program criteria, biogas projects under 10 megawatts are paid 11 cents per kilowatt hour.

Ryan Little, StormFisher vice president of business development, told Biomass Magazine that all 47 of Loblaw's grocery stores, from Windsor to Waterloo, will be supplying the plant with organic wastes. Loblaw's waste haulers will truck the materials to the facility, he said.

As far as the other planned biogas plants, StormFisher is making steady progress, Little said. The company has development plans in Wisconsin, Alberta and another in London.

To learn more about StormFisher Biogas, read "Taking Anaerobic Digestion by Storm," in the May issue of Biomass Magazine.