Agrifood Renewable Natural Gas for Transportation

Through the Agrifood Renewable Natural Gas for Transportation Demonstration Program, the program will support the demonstration of business models for the production and use of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) using agricultural and food waste-based materials for use as a transportation fuel. This investment is intended to help agriculture, food, and transportation businesses reduce emissions and remain competitive by producing and using RNG as a transportation fuel. The program is a pilot and aims to help support sector development.

Program Summary

Program Name

Agrifood Renewable Natural Gas for Transportation – Demonstration Pilot Program

Program Status and Submission Deadline

Closed for Applications

What it Supports

The demonstration of business models for the production and use of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) using agricultural and food waste-based materials for use as a transportation fuel

Project Sector

Agriculture, food and transportation

Basic Eligibility Criteria

(A full list of eligibility requirements is available.)

Applicant:

  • Ontario-based participants in an Agrifood RNG for Transportation supply chain including developers of anaerobic digesters, natural gas fuel stations and natural gas vehicle users

Project:

Funding may support one or more complete components of the Agrifood RNG for Transportation supply chain including an anaerobic digestion facility, an RNG upgrader, a natural gas fuel station or natural gas vehicles.   

Projects MUST have participation from the complete Agrifood RNG supply chain which includes the following elements:

  • the production of biogas in an anaerobic digestion facility that digests primarily agricultural and food waste-based materials,
  • the distribution of biogas or RNG either:
    • directly to a vehicle refuelling site,
    • to a natural gas pipeline, or
    • to a vehicle refuelling site or pipeline via a compressed gas transport trailer or similar mechanism
  • the consumption of natural gas as fuel in a wheeled vehicle, and
  • an agreement, contract or other business understanding demonstrating a direct or indirect financial relationship between the biogas producer and the vehicle owner to use the fuel in a wheeled vehicle.

OCE Funding

Up to 50 per cent of eligible project cash costs to a maximum of $1,375,000

Project Duration

Projects MUST be completed by December 31, 2018, meaning all funded components of the project must be operational by that date.

Matching Requirement

At least 50 per cent of eligible project cash costs

How to Apply

See details on the How to Apply tab.

Contact

Search OCE’s Knowledge Base of Frequently Asked Questions. For further assistance, please see details on the Contacts tab.

More program information

Program Overview and Benefits

Through the Agrifood Renewable Natural Gas for Transportation Demonstration Program, the program will support the demonstration of business models for the production and use of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) using agricultural and food waste-based materials for use as a transportation fuel. This investment is intended to help agriculture, food, and transportation businesses reduce emissions and remain competitive by producing and using RNG as a transportation fuel. The Program is a pilot and aims to help support sector development.

The Program will promote the production of RNG at new or existing Anaerobic Digestion Facilities, which will use agricultural and food waste-based materials and will also promote the use of that RNG fuel in transportation vehicles to replace fossil fuels. The Program will also support the agriculture and food sectors to produce RNG fuels and support knowledge sharing from successful Approved Projects. This knowledge and demonstration will lead to significant GHG emission reductions by other future technology adopters.

The Program strengthens the agrifood and rural sectors by fostering economic growth, supporting agricultural and food processors to enhance their operations with investments in technology, enhancing environmental stewardship performance through improved management of manure and food by-products and equipping these sectors to participate in reducing GHG pollution.

The Agrifood Renewable Natural Gas for Transportation Demonstration Pilot Program objectives include:

  • Deploying commercial-scale projects that demonstrate the production and use of Renewable Natural Gas obtained from agricultural and food waste-based materials for transportation fuel in natural gas vehicles resulting in emission reduction
  • Supporting sector development activities for RNG production and fuelling so that the sector is equipped to move beyond the Program

Benefits to eligible applicants

Benefits to eligible applicants

  • Shorten the payback period for implementing innovations that reduce greenhouse gas pollution in the Renewable Natural Gas for Transport sector;
  • Improve the competitiveness of participating companies;
  • Gain access to OCE networks and awareness of other OCE programs;
  • Demonstrate corporate social responsibility by being early adopters of emission reduction technologies, environmental stewards and champions.

How Funding Works

OCE Contribution

50 per cent (maximum) of total eligible project costs, up to $1,375,000

Industry Partner Contribution

50 per cent (minimum) of total eligible project costs (i.e. minimum 1:1 match to OCE contribution)

  • Projects MUST commit to matching a specified percentage of the grant investment for the project.  The contribution from OCE to the project cannot exceed 50 per cent of eligible project costs.  Matching cash contributions may come from industry and other non-Ontario government sources.  Funding from other Ontario government sources is not an eligible source of matching funds.
  • Total funding from other non-Ontario government sources is eligible as a cash match as long as total government funding does not exceed 75 per cent of the total project budget.

Example

Total eligible project costs: $1,000,000

  • Maximum OCE contribution: $500,000
  • Minimum industry partner contribution: $500,000

Funding Recipient

Ontario-based participants in an Agrifood RNG for Transportation supply chain including developers of anaerobic digesters, natural gas fuel stations and natural gas vehicle users

  • Projects MUST commit to matching a specified percentage of the grant investment for the project.The contribution from OCE to the project cannot exceed 50 per cent of eligible project costs.Matching cash contributions may come from industry and other non-Ontario government sources. Funding from other Ontario government sources is not an eligible source of matching funds. Total funding from other non-Ontario government sources is eligible as a cash match as long as total government funding does not exceed 75 per cent of the total project budget.
  • OCE funding will cover up to 50 per cent of eligible project cash costs to a maximum of $1.375 million. Please note: Any project costs in excess of the maximum contribution are the sole responsibility of the Applicant and Project Participants.
  • Funding amounts below OCE’s maximum contribution of $1.375 million may be considered on a case-by-case basis. This MUST be discussed with your OCE Business Development Manager as part of the application process.

Eligible Expenses

  • Project-funded activities MUST be performed within Ontario, unless prior written approval has been obtained from OCE.
  • OCE will only acknowledge project expenses that occur after the contract date. OCE funding cannot be applied retroactively. In cases where an application is approved and not activated, expenses are incurred at the risk of the applicant. Eligible expenses will be reimbursed after completion of the Funding Agreement.
  • Applicant MUST refer to the Eligible Expenses Guide for full details.

Indigenous Consultation

In providing this funding to OCE, the Province has identified that Projects might trigger the Province’s Duty to Consult with Indigenous peoples. Through consultation, the Province aims to achieve respect for, and preservation of, rights while building and maintaining positive relationships. Consultation can identify potentially adverse impacts on Indigenous peoples’ established or credibly asserted rights.

Various industry players, such as natural gas utilities, engage in consultation with Indigenous peoples as a matter of business practice as they develop new projects. 

The Province will support Projects in this program to understand whether this duty to consult with Indigenous peoples is triggered. Consultation may be required if there are potential concerns regarding adverse impacts on hunting, trapping, fishing, plant harvesting or on burial grounds or archaeological sites of cultural significance to Indigenous peoples.

Where the Duty to Consult is deemed by the Province to be triggered, Projects will be required to commit to participating in this process as a condition of their Funding Agreement.

For more information on the Duty to Consult, please visit Ontario's website.

Conditions for Funding

The Agrifood Renewable Natural Gas for Transportation will require that successful applicants to agree to the following:

  • Disclose any other funding received for Project Activities from other funding programs or equivalent and the names and sources of those programs
  • That OCE, its authorized representative or an independent auditor identified by OCE may, upon 24 hours’ notice to the successful applicants and during normal business hours, enter upon the Approved Project’s premises to review the progress of the Project Activities and the Approved Project’s expenditure of the Agrifood RNG for Transportation Project Funds, and for these purposes OCE, its authorized representative or an independent auditor identified by the OCE may a) inspect and b) copy the records and documents and conduct an audit or investigation of the applicant in respect of the expenditure of the Agrifood RNG for Transportation Project Funds and/or Project Activities.
  • Carry out the Project Activities without an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest. The successful applicants disclose any conflict of interest to OCE, and OCE will comply with any terms and conditions that OCE prescribes as a result of the disclosure. 

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant

  • OCE will invite up to three eligible applicants to submit proposals to the pilot Program. Eligibility shall be limited to applicants who submitted RNG-related Expression of Interests (EOIs) and/or full applications to the TargetGHG Stream 1 (Industrial Demonstration) program or applicants who have successful natural gas fuel station projects funded through Natural Resource Canada’s Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative.
  • Applicants MUST be Ontario-based businesses
  • Applicants must be a member of a group that, together, in a complete supply chain:
    • produce RNG from biogas produced by an anaerobic digestion facility located in Ontario that uses primarily agricultural or food waste-based feedstock including manure, crops, and food processing waste;
    • consume all or part of the RNG fuel derived from clause (i) in natural gas fueled vehicles based in Ontario;
    • replace fossil fuel consumption with RNG in such a way as to create a significant and measurable GHG emission reduction or avoidance; and
    • undertake public demonstrations and openly share knowledge of their Project’s details, business model and outcomes with others.
  • Applicants must submit an application form to OCE prior to the deadline.
  • Applicants MUST sign a Funding Agreement with OCE.
  • Applicants MUST provide project and outcomes metrics, as well as client satisfaction surveys.
  • Applicants MUST be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE.
  • Applicants MUST be in compliance with all Requirements of Law at the time that the application is submitted and remain in compliance with all Requirements of Law while participating in the Program.
  • A Rural Municipality cannot be an Applicant but can be a Project Participant.

Project

  • Projects MUST take place at Ontario-based facilities.
  • Projects MUST be designed to achieve measurable reductions in greenhouse gas pollution in Ontario.
  • Projects must envision an entire Agrifood RNG transportation supply chain from RNG production to utilization in vehicles. Project funding can support one or more components of this supply chain. Eligible components of the supply chain include the following elements:
    • the production of biogas in an anaerobic digestion facility which digests primarily agricultural and food waste-based materials,
    • the distribution of biogas or RNG either
      • directly to a vehicle refuelling site,
      • to a natural gas pipeline, or
      • to a vehicle refuelling site or pipeline via a compressed gas transport trailer or similar mechanism.
    • the consumption of natural gas as fuel in a wheeled vehicle, and
    • an agreement, contract, or other business understanding demonstrating a direct or indirect financial relationship between the biogas producer and the vehicle owner to use the fuel in a wheeled vehicle.
    • A Project Participant may undertake an activity in the Project in the form of incurring Eligible Costs or demonstrating financial participation through written agreements. 
  • The following elements may be included in the scope of a Project for this program but are not mandatory:
    • Participation of any of the following as Project Participant, including acting as the Applicant:
      • Biogas facility operator
      • Supplier of anaerobic digestion materials
      • Natural gas utility
      • Natural gas fuel station operator
      • Business with a vehicle fleet
      • End-user of fleet services
      • Businesses that facilitate contractual relationships or similar services
      • Rural Municipality (note: Rural Municipalities can be Project Participants, but cannot be the Applicant).
  • Projects MUST be completed and achieve operational status by December 31, 2018.  Operational status means the component(s) of the Supply Chain that receives funding will be fully operational by the Project Completion Date. This means that the equipment is in place, has met the required approvals needed for operation and can physically operate.
  • Project participants are required to show that they have a plan to manage all Intellectual Property (IP) arising from a project (if applicable), as OCE does not claim or manage IP rights. 
More program information

How to Apply

Program Status: Closed for applications

  1. To begin the full application submission process, invited applicants will complete a client intake form. An OCE Business Development Manager (BDM) will contact you to discuss the opportunity and assist you with initiating and developing your application. Your OCE BDM will also maintain oversight responsibility for the OCE components of any approved project. Applications MUST be submitted through AccessOCE, OCE’s online application system.  
  2. A complete application includes:
    • Documentation of previous TargetGHG or NRCan application
    • Environmental benefits table
    • Detailed project budget
    • Completed full application questionnaire/business plan
  3. The full application requires a detailed implementation plan and an assessment of greenhouse gas pollution reductions and environmental co-benefits, information regarding the technology, value proposition, team and the use of funds.  
  4. Prior to final submission, OCE will support the applicant by reviewing a draft application.
  5. Final applications MUST be submitted to OCE through AccessOCE, OCE’s online application system by the application deadline
  6. Full applications submitted through the AccessOCE online portal are internally reviewed for completeness, eligibility and use of funds.  An External Review Panel comprised of sector experts will review the full application against program objectives and criteria. The final funding decision rests with OCE.
  7. Upon approval, the Applicant MUST execute an OCE funding agreement including a completed Schedule D, Intellectual Property Term Sheet.  Applicants MUST commit to sign OCE’s funding agreement prior to March 13, 2018
  8. A copy of the Funding Agreement can be downloaded (subject to change) for your reference. Applicants are encouraged to read this agreement and share it with decision-makers and legal departments at their organization early in the application process. Please do not sign this copy of the form; a copy of the agreement will be generated through our online management system and sent to you upon approval of your project.  Applicants must also complete an Officer’s Certificate. A template will be provided.

Timelines

Activity

Date

Pilot program launch and letters of invitation sent to selected applicants

December 21, 2017

Application submission deadline through OCE’s AccessOCE online system

Please ensure that you have initiated your online application through an OCE Business Development Manager at least one week prior to the submission deadline.

January 12, 2018

Communications to successful applicants

February 2, 2018

Funding agreements executed and approved projects start

March 13, 2018

Projects end. Operational status of components is achieved.

December 31, 2018

Note regarding application information: By submitting an application, Applicants agree that project information may be shared among all Project Participants, and other contributors, listed in the application form. Project information includes application forms and supporting documents, application reviews and assessments, public releases, outcome reports and impact measures. For more information, refer to OCE’s privacy policy

Assessment Process and Criteria

The Agrifood Renewable Natural Gas for Transportation Demonstration Pilot Program is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with limited funding. All eligible applications undergo a review process where the applications are assessed against program objectives and assessment criteria. Not all eligible applications will be approved for funding. Project evaluation is a one-step process (Full Application Stage). OCE will invite up to three eligible applicants to submit proposals to the pilot program.

Invited applicants will be:

  • Applicants who have already submitted RNG-related Expression of Interests (EOIs) and/or full applications to the TargetGHG Stream 1 (Industrial Demonstration) program, or
  • Applicants who have successful natural gas fuel station projects funded through Natural Resource Canada’s Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative.

OCE may use this prior due diligence as a part of the evaluation when needed and liaise with the project evaluators as needed. The sharing of information with OCE is undertaken in strict compliance with the endorsing partners’ obligations for terms of use and disclosure of information. Applicants will be notified prior to any sharing of protected information with OCE and will be asked to provide their explicit agreement.

OCE may consider other endorsement partners in the future.

The evaluation process for the program, which has limited funding, is competitive, discretionary, and non-entitlement. All eligible applications are assessed against program objectives and criteria. 

Administrative Review

Invited applicants will submit Full Applications to OCE. Full applications submitted at the final submission stage through AccessOCE, OCE’s online application system, will undergo administrative review for completeness and financial compliance.

Technical Expert Review

An External Review Panel (ERP) comprised of sector experts will review the full application.  External consultants will complete non-disclosure agreements prior to the review of the applications. Consultants are involved in the early stages of the application. There are at least two consultants involved in every project.

Consultants provide individual reviews and commentary for all applications assigned to them according to the criteria set out by OCE. The evaluation will assess (but is not limited to) the following areas:

  • Technical viability of the project
  • Strength of the project team
  • Appropriateness of project timelines
  • Appropriateness of project budget and related costs (e.g. CAPEX, salaries, etc.)
  • Appropriateness of projected greenhouse gas pollution reductions
  • Accuracy of potential environmental co-benefits
  • Likelihood of overall project success
  • Project’s impact in delivering greenhouse gas emission targets
  • Demonstration value

Consultants are expected to exercise judgement and discuss any other elements they consider to be of relevance, and that have not been addressed in OCE’s assessment template. Similarly, Consultants are expected to advise OCE if additional information is required for an application.

Financial due diligence is conducted as part of the application process and includes a review of the applicant’s Officer Certificate and a credit check. 

Committee Assessment

The final funding decision rests with OCE's Internal Review Panel (IRP) which is comprised of senior OCE staff.

Successful Applicants will be notified by OCE and provided with an outline of conditions and additional information necessary to activate the project.

Applicants who are not selected for receipt of funding will receive email notification outlining the outcome. Applicants will be offered an opportunity to discuss the decision with their OCE Business Development Manager.

Evaluation criteria include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Alignment with the objectives of the program;
  • Pollution reduction targets and/or potential;
  • Other environmental benefits/potential;
  • Participant leverage and commitment;
  • Economic impact potential;

Please note: Preference will be given to Ontario-based solution providers; however, OCE will consider leading technologies sourced nationally and internationally.

More program information

Flow of Funds

Funding will flow directly to the applicant based on a claims and reimbursement model for eligible expenses. The applicant can then disburse the funds to Project Participants, solution providers, partners, contractors, vendors, etc, as needed. Claims can be made when submitting interim report(s) every three months and the final report required at the end of the project.

Project Reporting Requirements

The following project reports will be required. 

Please note that to receive funding from OCE, the applicant MUST complete all required reports as a contractual obligation.

Interim Progress and Claim Report(s)

  • Interim report(s), including a statement of progress, greenhouse gas quantification and a financial attestation, will be required approximately every three months (quarterly reporting). The company will receive notification and a link from OCE’s AccessOCE online application system to submit the report. OCE MUST receive and approve reports prior to release of funds for eligible claims.

Note: Applicants MUST retain all proof of purchases, receipts and other relevant documentation related to eligible expenses. OCE reserves the right to audit any project expenses.

Final Reports

  • Forty-five (45) days prior to the scheduled completion date, the Applicant will receive a notification of the project end date from AccessOCE, OCE’s online system, with a link to the Final Project Report should the Applicant wish to begin entering data. If an extension is required, it MUST be requested via OCE’s online AccessOCE system. After completion of the project, the Applicants and Participants will be required to complete Final Project Reports (including progress, greenhouse gas pollution reduction quantification, financials and metrics). Applicant and Project Participant reports MUST be received and approved by OCE within 30 days of project completion.
  • When the Applicant and Project Participant Final Reports have been approved, the Applicant will be required to complete an attestation of the use of funds to close the project.
  • All required Final Reports from all Project Participants MUST be submitted within 30 days of project completion in order to release the holdback and maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Project Metrics

  • If the project continues past a fiscal year-end (March 31), the Applicant and Project Participant will be required to complete annual OCE metrics surveys each April for the part of the project that has been completed since the previous March 31. This annual report is mandatory for OCE to fulfil its contracts with its government funder. Required metrics reports from all Project Participants MUST be submitted in order to maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Retrospective Survey

  • Annually for the five years after project completion, Applicants will be sent a link to complete a retrospective survey to collect data on commercial outcomes from the project. OCE requires the information for the assessment of program impact and to ensure the continuous improvement of OCE programs.

Glossary

“Applicant” means a Person who applies for funding to the Program. An Applicant represents all Project Participants of the Supply Chain in the Project. There will be only one Applicant per Project. An Applicant may demonstrate partnerships, business agreements, memoranda of understandings, or other business arrangements for the sake of demonstrating an RNG Transportation Supply Chain in a Project.

“Approved Project” means a Project for which an application to the Program has been submitted, which is subsequently selected by OCE for contracting, and whose Applicant enters into a Funding Agreement with OCE to receive Project Funds.

“Funding Agreement” means an agreement that OCE enters into with an applicant to provide funds for the applicant’s Approved Project under the Program.

“Funded Component” means one or more complete individual components of the Supply Chain, including an anaerobic digestion facility, an RNG upgrader, a natural gas fuel station, or natural gas vehicles.

“OCE” means Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc.

“Operational Status” means the component(s) of the Supply Chain that receives funding will be fully operational by the Project Completion Date. This means that the equipment is in place, has met the required approvals needed for operation, and can physically operate.

“Project Participant” means a Person with activity in the Project, in the form of incurring Eligible Costs, or demonstrating financial participation through written agreements. Project Participants include the Ultimate Recipient, and may include the AD Facility owner, a trucking company owner, other businesses, or a Rural Municipality. Project Participants may also include digester feedstock suppliers, fuel station operators, fleet service end-users or others.

“Program” means the Agrifood Renewable Natural Gas for Transportation Demonstration Program.

“Project” means the activity that is being completed which will incur costs that are eligible for cost share within the Program. A Project will represent one or several parts of a Supply Chain.

Project Funds” means the funds specified in the Funding Agreement between OCE and the Applicant.

"Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Transportation Fuel" is fuel used by wheeled vehicles that are owned by Project Partners.

“Rural municipality” means a municipality described by a Statistics Canada's census subdivision that meets at least one of the following criteria: has a population of less than 100,000 people or has a population density of 100 people per square kilometer or less.

“Selected Applicant” means the Applicant for an Approved Project.

“Supply Chain” means the complete supply chain comprised of an anaerobic digestion facility that produces biogas converted to RNG for vehicle fuelling by Vehicle Users. Supply Chain is also referred to as RNG Transportation Supply Chain in this document.

“Vehicle Users” means the individual, corporation or any combination of those that operate vehicles that use natural gas as a transportation fuel. For the purpose of this Program some or all of the natural gas used by the vehicles will be renewable natural gas. 

For More Information

Search OCE’s Knowledge Base of Frequently Asked Questions.

For business development assistance in preparation of an application, please contact your OCE Business Development Manager or:

For general inquiries about the program such as eligibility, funding, timelines or application process:

Shatha Qaqish-Clavering
Manager, Cleantech Portfolio
Tel: (416) 861-1092 x1110
Email: 

For general inquiries about the online application system and application form, please contact the Application Support Team at (416) 861-1092 x2400 or application-support@oce.zendesk.com.


How to Apply

Program Status: Closed for Applications


​Last update: January 16, 2019