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Jessica Markland Partnership Award

On October 14, 2021, the Jessica Markland Partnership Award was presented to Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation for their collaboration with the ZooShare Biogas Co-operative for their supportive efforts to enhance the environment by building partnerships with public, community and private interests. 

Established in 2003, the award categories recognize and acknowledge environmental achievements of individuals and organizations in the public, private and non-profit sectors within Durham Region. 

ZooShare is very honoured to have been a part of this collaboration and would like to extend our congratulations to Oshawa Power, EnerFORGE and all of the individuals and organizations recognized by the Region of Durham for their hard work and dedication to creating a more sustainable future.

ZooShare Plant Tours

On October 2, 2021, we held the first-ever ZooShare Biogas Plant Tours! We were so excited to finally get the chance to invite visitors to the plant and are so thrilled with the turnout.

Attendees spent the tour exploring the biogas plant, taking a first-hand look at the various steps involved in the creation of biogas, asking questions and learning from experienced ZooShare team members. Thank you to everyone who attended the tours, your interest and enthusiasm meant the world to us. The event ran very smoothly and our team had a blast putting it together. We can’t wait to host the rest of the ZooShare membership at the plant in the near future.

 

ZooShare has also hosted many community leaders over the past few months.

We would like to thank MP Gary Anandasangaree, MPP Raymond Cho, MPP – Minister of Energy Todd Smith and MPP Vijay Thanigasalam for visiting the ZooShare Biogas Plant. We look forward to continuing to work together with our community and our representatives to create a more sustainable future.

Take a Virtual Tour of the ZooShare Biogas Project!

Our virtual tour was released alongside a press release in partnership with the Toronto Zoo, Loblaw Companies Ltd. (Loblaw) and EnerFORGE. This tour offers viewers an opportunity to see how our unique site functions and hear comments from our partners.

“For ZooShare and the Toronto Zoo, the project represents a chance to raise their game in the fight against climate change. Reducing GHG emissions, through the diversion of food waste and generation of renewable energy, is just one of the things the Zoo is doing to fight extinction, as climate change negatively impacts ecosystems critical for species survival. The two organizations are also working together to educate students and the general public on the value of biogas and the importance of properly managing organic waste.

The project is also a natural fit for Loblaw, Canada’s largest food retailer and industry leader in the fight to eliminate food waste. Keenly aware of the role the Canadian grocery industry plays in the issue, the company has reduced the amount of food waste sent to landfill from its corporate retail operations by more than eighty per cent since 2016. Loblaw credits innovative thinking and strategic partnerships, such as these, with their success to date.

For EnerFORGE, the project’s critical energy infrastructure partner, the ZooShare biogas plant will add to their strategic portfolio of low carbon energy projects and allow them to build new value propositions in 2 the production of renewable natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells and carbon offset projects. Growing these types of projects will be critical to Canada’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

This project was also made possible by a Low Carbon Economy Fund grant from the Government of Canada, and support from other contributing organizations including Bullfrog Power, Octaform and Walker Industries.”

Click here to continue reading the press release.

We are producing power! ⚡

We began to generate and export power to the Ontario grid on April 1st and reached our 500 kW capacity for the first time on April 12th.  We are now generating revenues from processing food waste into biogas and then generating power.  With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, we are now planning to hold a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony in the summer.  For now, here’s a sneak peak:

Inside the biogas plant digester, about 1,900 cubic meters of organic “waste” is being digested!  The bubbles are the biogas coming up from the slurry.

ZooShare Bonds are Back!

– Earn 5% for 5 years or 5.5% for 15 years

  • This is our first bond offering since 2016.  These bonds will be used to redeem and refinance maturing community bonds.
  • So far, we have sold $2.1M worth of bonds to current investors and people who signed up for our waiting list.  Only 50% of bonds remain!
  • The Offering Statement will expire on June 30, 2021.

CLCK HERE TO INVEST NOW

You can also read our Investment FAQs here.

Welcome Rob, our new General Manager! 

While our Founder and Executive Director, Daniel Bida, continues to be involved at a project level, our new Co-operative General Manager, Rob Grand, is taking over all of Daniel’s co-op related responsibilities: Rob will work with the Board to lead the co-op as we enter this next phase of operations.  

About Rob: Rob Grand is an experienced entrepreneur and business manager with expertise creating, developing, and consulting with successful businesses, social enterprises, and non-profits in the Environmental and Renewable Energy sectors.  Rob has served as a Director and Advisor to more than a dozen organizations including the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Green Enterprise Toronto, The Coalition for a Green Economy, and the LFP Foundation. Outside of the office, Rob coaches hockey, teaches skiing, paddles whitewater, hikes trails, climbs rocks, and can often be found with camping gear strapped to his touring bike.

If you would like to introduce yourself to Rob and welcome him to the team, or if you have any questions, please send Rob an email: rob@zooshare.ca

Take a hike!

(Literally, in Rouge National Urban Park.)

Want to see the biogas plant in-person, from a safe distance?  Check out the trail next to the Rouge Valley Conservation Centre (AKA Pearse House) at 1749 Meadowvale Road: There are 3 trails in Rouge National Urban Park, ranging from 1.5km to 3.5km, and the best view of the biogas plant is just a couple of minutes from the trail head! Please note that while we plan to offer supervised tours in the future, the biogas plant is an industrial site and members of the public are not allowed.  Please stay on the trail. Click here for directions and parking information.

Above: Sights from the Rouge National Urban Park.  Please share your photos of the trail and snaps of the biogas plant: #ZooShare and #rougeNUP.  

Construction is Complete!

A Slideshow showing the ZooShare Biogas Plant Being Built Over a 1 year period

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, everywhere. With a province-wide lockdown announced this week, we are grateful to have a more uplifting announcement of our own to share:

This month, we completed construction of the biogas plant! The site is currently undergoing final inspections, after which we expect to generate power and export it to the grid in late February.  We are tentatively planning a ribbon cutting ceremony for the summer, and will keep you posted as the new year progresses.
Current ZooShare investors have continued to demonstrate strong support and loyalty to our project: we have sold over $1.5 million of new bonds. If you would like to get on the waiting list for new bonds (that earn 5% or 5.5% depending on the term), please sign up here.

With potentially fewer guests around the table for the holidays this year, we encourage you to plan your meals and leftovers: click here for some tips from Love Food Hate Waste. One small silver lining of continued stay-at-home measures is that Canadians are planning more and wasting less food.

Press Release – New Partnership with Oshawa Power

Yesterday, on November 12, 2019, ZooShare met with senior officials from Oshawa Power and The Toronto Zoo to celebrate a newly inked strategic partnership that will make significant Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reductions a reality at the Toronto Zoo. We are joining forces with Oshawa PUC Energy Services (OPUCES), a municipally-owned sustainable energy corporation to complete the final milestone of the Toronto Zoo Biogas Project. This unique collaboration also includes the federal government’s Low Carbon Economy Fund, which will contribute $2.7 million over this phase and a planned expansion of the facility.

Click here to read the full press release.

Photos by Oshawa Power:

 

 

ZooShare awarded $2.67M grant from Government of Canada

We are very pleased to announce that ZooShare has been approved for funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), as part of the Low Carbon Economy Fund.

These new funds are in the form of a multi-year grant, totaling $2.67 million. It will enable us to double ZooShare’s processing capacity from 17,000 tonnes of organics per year to 30,000+ tonnes, doubling our positive impact on the environment.

With this grant in place, we will continue with our plans to complete construction this year and reach commercial operations in Spring 2020. We will also begin planning the facility’s expansion, which includes a second digestion tank, and the capacity to inject renewable natural gas (RNG) into nearby pipelines.

We’re incredibly thankful to the ECCC, and MP Gary Anandasangaree (Scarborough-Rouge Park). Their support will help realize our shared vision of diverting organic waste away from landfills, and using it to produce renewable energy.

We Commissioned Our CHP Unit

We are very pleased to share that on Wednesday July 18th, we successfully commissioned our Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit and demonstrated ZooShare’s ability to export power to the Ontario grid–thus meeting the final milestone of our Feed-In-Tariff contract! We now look forward to moving ahead with the next phase of construction.

GIF shows images of construction, digging a trench, wearing hardhats, lowering wooden beams and materials with a crane, etc.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our partner, Miller Waste Systems Inc., for their incredible dedication to this project. They assisted in completing project designs, securing permits, coordinating vendors and managing the construction work at the site, which required 12+ hour work-days everyday for 3 weeks. A huge, huge thank you.

We would also like to thank the following organizations and partners who assisted us in reaching this milestone:

ANF Energy Solutions
Northern Building Contractors
Powerline Plus
R.A Graham Electrical Contractors
Toronto Hydro
The Toronto Zoo
Total Power Limited

On a sombre note, you may have heard that the Ontario government recently cancelled 758 renewable energy projects, including 15 biogas plants. ZooShare is not among them. While our contract remains in good standing, we support the Canadian Biogas Association’s stance that, “this decision ignores the environmental benefits [of] clean, safe, locally-generated renewable energy and the many economic benefits including sustainable job creation within Ontario farms, agri-food businesses, and municipalities and millions of dollars of investment in local communities.”

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out by clicking the email icon at the top of this screen, or calling the 1-800 number, above.

Thank you,

The ZooShare Team

Daniel, Paul U., Chris, Melissa, John, Victoria, and Paul W.

The Engine Has Arrived!

We are excited to announce that the first piece of our biogas plant has arrived!

A crane holds a large shipping container while men in hard hats and vests look on.

On Wednesday, May 9th, our Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit, the engine that will generate electricity from zoo poo and food waste, was delivered to the ZooShare site across from the Toronto Zoo.

The unit arrived in two shipping containers from Europe.

ZooShare’s Executive Director, Daniel Bida, was there in-person to meet the delivery.  “It was an exciting moment.  The CHP is an essential piece of our project, and as the first piece of equipment to arrive, it is the first step towards construction,” he said.

Executive Director Daniel Bida stands in the doorway of the shipping container that was used to deliver the ZooShare biogas plant engine.

ZooShare’s Executive Director, Daniel Bida, was there to meet the delivery of the engine that will turn poo into power.

So, how does this engine work?  Combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is the simultaneous production of electrical power and heat.  First, biogas powers the engine, then the engine runs an alternator (an electrical generator) which creates renewable power for the Ontario grid.  The rotation of the alternator also produces heat–and unlike conventional technologies that waste it by letting it float off into the atmosphere–the efficient CHP unit will capture that heat and use it to warm the ZooShare tanks and buildings on site.

The Combined Heat and Power Engine

The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit.

The next steps are to connect the CHP unit to the Ontario grid, and then construct the tanks and buildings that make up the rest of the biogas plant.

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter (if you haven’t already) to make sure you are receiving the latest updates from us.  We look forward to sharing our progress with you!

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