The Portland City Council has approved a contract for final design of a facility at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant (CBWTP) to convert biogas into CNG, allowing the plant to re-use nearly all of the 600 million cubic feet of biogas it produces annually. “Biogas is a sustainable, renewable energy source. This project will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money for our sewer ratepayers,” said Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish.
It would cost an estimated $10.9-million to design and construct the biogas processing and storage facility as well as a fueling station at the CBWTP. Portland Bureau of Environmental Services is exploring available grants and financial incentives to help reduce project costs. Construction could start early next year and the facility could be operational by 2017.
An Environmental Services study of re-use alternatives found that the vehicle fuel option is the most economical and has the greatest environmental benefits. The Bureau is now exploring several possible uses for the fuel including selling it to a utility company, selling to Portland area garbage haulers to fuel trucks, fueling city vehicles, or fueling trucks that haul biosolids for land application.
In 2009, the CBWTP installed two 850-kilowatt engine-generators that use about 40% of the plant’s biogas as fuel to generate electricity for the wastewater treatment process. Converting biogas to vehicle fuel will re-use practically all the biogas the treatment plant produces.
Source: Portland City Council