The Village Farms International greenhouses in Delta cover more than 61 hectares. The Quadrogen co-generation facility would provide power, heat and carbon dioxide to at least some of this area. (Grace Kennedy photo)

The Village Farms International greenhouses in Delta cover more than 61 hectares. The Quadrogen co-generation facility would provide power, heat and carbon dioxide to at least some of this area. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Delta council gives extension to landfill gas collection project

Facility will produce heat, hydrogen, food-grade carbon dioxide, bio-methane, bio-diesel and wax

A Delta facility that will turn landfill gases into usable energy and materials has been given more time to get up and running.

In 2013, Quadrogen Power Systems Inc. partnered with Delta greenhouse Village Farms to process waste gases from the Vancouver Landfill into a number of usable materials, an undertaking known as co-generation.

Originally, the $7.5 million co-generation facility was intended to run as a demonstration project at the Village Farms greenhouse on 80th Street at Ladner Trunk Road until Sept. 30, 2017. After that time, Quadrogen would have had to remove the technology from the greenhouse, or forfeit the $10,000 it paid to the municipality as security in 2013.

However, due to delays in meeting requirements for federal and provincial funding, the facility isn’t yet operational — resulting in the request to extend the amount of time Quadrogen can operate at the greenhouse.

At Delta council’s meeting on Monday, Sept. 11, Coun. Heather King, who has toured the facility twice in the past, called it “highly professional” and “innovative,” saying she supported the recommendation to extend the amount of time Quadrogen is able to operate at Village Farms until Sept. 30, 2027.

Council approved the extension unanimously, although councillors Robert Campbell, Sylvia Bishop and Ian Paton were not present.

Since Quadrogen’s initial proposal in 2013, the plan for co-generation facility has changed. When it was first proposed, Quadrogen would provide heat and electricity to the greenhouse, as well as food-grade carbon dioxide, which the greenhouse uses to promote plant growth and ripening. It was also intending to produce hydrogen for the public market.

“Co-generation is a feel-good success story because it takes landfill methane gas that would have been burned on site at the landfill and instead turns a waste product into a viable heat source that is safe for people and plants,” Village Farms development director Jonathan Bos said in a 2014 press release.

“This … project is even more advanced and cutting edge as it will be the first demonstration of not only heat supply for the greenhouse, but also food grade CO2.”

Now, Quadrogen is planning to include even more advanced co-generation focusing on six different products: heat, hydrogen, food-grade carbon dioxide, bio-methane, bio-diesel and wax production from the landfill gas.

The original timeline for the facility would have seen it fully operational by July 2015. Now, Quadrogen is expecting the demonstration project to be underway by 2018 or 2019, giving the facility eight to nine years of production time.