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Budget increased for landfill power replacement project

Sechelt landfill power to connect to BC Hydro grid
Sechelt Landfill
File photo of the Sechelt Landfill.

Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) plans to hook up the Sechelt Landfill directly to the BC Hydro grid after the entire power system failed early this year.

At the July 8 infrastructure services committee meeting, the SCRD board also voted to request to increase the budget for replacing the landfill’s power supply system from $115,000 to $212,000 through the Municipal Finance Authority’s five-year equipment finance loan. 

It would take at least a year from beginning the connection to the BC Hydro grid to complete the project.

Of the options presented to the board, the direct connection to BC Hydro was one of the two options in line with the board’s carbon neutral goals. Although it came with the highest capital cost estimate, connecting to the BC Hydro grid was also the least expensive option in terms of annual maintenance costs.

Starting next year, the landfill’s base budget will be increased by $1,200 for annual maintenance and operating costs, and funded through tipping fees.

Robyn Cooper, the manager of solid waste services, told the board that the entire power system, including the generator, failed “due to a variety of reasons, including increased power demand at the site.”

Since then, the landfill has been using a diesel generator on loan from the SCRD utility services, but that generator is currently malfunctioning, according to the staff report. None of the system’s components can be repaired or reused. 

At the time of failure, the landfill used a photovoltaic system supplemented with a propane generator. The most recent complete replacement of the system was in 2017-18.