Toronto Zoo’s “poo power” to partially supply Ontario grid in 2014

by • July 9, 2013 • Clean Tech, Editor's Picks, IndustrialComments (0)1500

As of July 4, ZooShare Biogas Co-operative Inc. has received a Feed-in Tariff (FIT) contract offer from the Ontario Power Authority for its 500-kilowatt biogas plant, to be built at the Toronto Zoo in 2014. The contract will make ZooShare unique in North America for generating renewable electricity from zoo animal manure and food waste.

ZooShare will fund the project by selling bonds to Ontarians who want to help the environment, support the Zoo, and make a healthy return on their investment. The bonds pay 7 per cent per year for seven years, however you must be a co-op member with ZooShare to purchase one. Membership costs $100, and those who sign up before September 1 will receive $100 off the first bond purchased, essentially making the membership free.

It is estimated that each year, Canada’s first biogas plant will turn the Zoo’s manure output, which can weigh as much as 15 pandas, and food waste from grocery stores in the Greater Toronto Area into enough renewable electricity for 250 homes. The resulting reduction in emissions is the same as taking 2,100 cars off the road. Annual contributions to the Zoo will reach at least $50,000.

“The Zoo is proud to be part of such an exciting, innovative project,” said Joe Torzsok, chairman of the Toronto Zoo. “Reducing the Zoo’s carbon footprint while creating new revenue streams and reducing costs is a win-win. We look forward to ZooShare bringing this project to fruition.”

To date, ZooShare’s 127 members have invested $460,000 and the co-op has secured $172,000 in grant funding from the Community Energy Partnership Program and the Toronto Community Foundation.

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