Here’s the poop: biogas systems manufacturer to establish global headquarters in Ontario, hire 200
There’s so much wind and solar development happening in Ontario as a result of the feed-in-tariff program that it’s easy to forget that FIT prices also exist for generating electricity from biogas and biomass. Indeed, the biogas option has been largely overshadowed even though as a source of electricity it’s arguably the best approach of them all — it’s dispatchable, it reduces methane emissions from manure, it’s a waste management solution, and it’s a way to ensure dangerous pathogens from in-field manure don’t leech into groundwater systems. There have been a dozen or so farm-based anaerobic digester systems deployed throughout Ontario, but there is potential for a whole lot more, not just from dairy farms, but for processing of municipal waste water, chicken/pig/turkey poop, organic matter from industrial food production, etc…
A good sign that more will happen was the announcement yesterday that Anaergia, which operates in Europe under the name UTS Biogas, has chosen Ontario as the location for its $70-million global headquarters, which will include R&D and manufacturing. The company expects to hire 200 people, and it plans to support and drive growth in biogas systems across Ontario and presumably the rest of Canada and northeastern parts of the United States. “The industry, in my view, is still in its infancy,” Andrew Benedek, company CEO, told the Toronto Star. “It has not evolved technologically. I really see an opportunity to become far away the leader of the world.” Benedek, a Canadian citizen, has a track record for running successful cleantech businesses. He was previously founder of Zenon Environmental, the Ontario-based water treatment company that went on to be purchased by General Electric in 2006 for about $700 million.
This is another healthy sign that the Green Energy Act and FIT program, despite their fixable problems and Hudak-spun controversy, are luring future-looking investments and jobs to the province.