Zoo Poo Power
Toronto Zoo to build biogas facility fueled by animal waste.
Toronto – The Toronto Zoo says it is in negotiations with an energy consortium, Zoo Biogas Co., to design, build, own and operate a modular 500KW Biogas facility at the zoo. The consortium – which consists of ReGenerate, HH Angus, Koenig and Consultants, Kronos Project Management Group and Riepma Consultants – has built five other biogas facilities in Ontario.
Electricity from the 2.4 acre facility will be tied into the grid through the OPA’s Feed-In Tariff program. Profits will go to the consortium to recoop the costs of construction and maintenance of the facility.
According to Dave Ireland, curator, the zoo will retain the fertilizer by-products and use the waste heat and CO2 for a proposed greenhouse. In addition, the consortium will make a contribution to the zoo annually. In total, the zoo says it will be able to reduce its annual carbon dioxide emissions (approximately 7500 tonnes) by a third.
“As one of the largest zoos in North America, we are fairly progressive,” Ireland says. “Right now we handle animal waste in a closed loop composting systems for our garden beds, but we’re not generating any energy.”
The present plan is a scaled down version a previous proposal for a 3 to 5 MW facility. However, Ireland says the new facility—including store tanks, anaerobic digestion units and generator—will be scalable should expansion be feasible. After a final agreement has been reached, the plant could be operating by mid 2012.