Renewable natural gas company Archaea Energy Inc. has expanded its commercial partnership with Fortis Inc. subsidiary, FortisBC Energy Inc., by entering into a new long-term RNG purchase and sale agreement on Jan. 27.

This is the second long-term commercial agreement between Archaea and FortisBC, a leading energy solutions provider in British Columbia, Canada, serving approximately 1.2 million customers with natural gas, electricity, propane and renewable energy solutions.

Under the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval by the British Columbia Utilities Commission, FortisBC expects to purchase up to 8 million gigajoules (approximately 7.6 million MMBtu) of RNG generated by Archaea annually from its portfolio of RNG production facilities for a fixed fee for a period of 20 years. The RNG produced by Archaea for this long-term partnership is expected to help FortisBC meet its stated goal of having 15% of its natural gas supply be renewable by 2030.

“We are excited to grow and strengthen our long-term partnership with FortisBC by entering into another long-term agreement in just over a year,” Brian McCarthy, Archaea’s chief investment officer, said. “This landmark deal, which we believe is the largest RNG supply contract signed to date, is enabled by the breadth of our RNG project portfolio and highlights our ability to scale production with our partners’ growing demand for lower-carbon solutions. FortisBC is a pioneer in RNG usage and at the forefront of utility decarbonization. Archaea is honored to partner with FortisBC and support their ambitious goals for British Columbia.”

Earlier this month, Archaea kicked off Project Assai, an RNG facility located at the Keystone Sanitary Landfill in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. Assai was successfully constructed, commissioned, and completed within budget and sits as the highest capacity operational RNG facility in the world.

Assai has an inlet capacity of 22,500 scfm and combines landfill gas flows from the Keystone Sanitary Landfill and the Waste Management Alliance Landfill.  The project is expected to deliver over 4 million MMBtu of RNG annually at projected flows, methane recovery and uptime, resulting in over $40 million of annual projected EBITDA.

FortisBC’s RNG program, which began in 2011, was the first utility program in North America to offer RNG to customers. FortisBC is working towards having around 75% of the natural gas in its system derived from renewable sources by 2050.

“If approved, this agreement would be our largest RNG supply agreement to date,” Joe Mazza, vice-president of energy supply and resource development with FortisBC, said. “We’re committed to the significant and rapid expansion of our renewable gas supply and we’re excited to work with a renewable energy leader like Archaea to deliver affordable, carbon neutral gas to British Columbians.”

The agreement is expected to commence in 2022 upon regulatory approval, with the full annual quantity beginning in 2025.