Last year, Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) launched an innovative venture to turn waste into clean energy while earning money for ratepayers, called “poop to power.” Now, the city has opened its first natural gas fueling station at the Columbia Wastewater Treatment Plant, and introduced the city’s first natural gas vehicles.
Every year, BES processes 28 billion gallons of wastewater. A natural byproduct of sewage treatment is methane. For years, the city has been capturing a portion of this methane gas to produce electricity. The rest gets burned and released into the atmosphere. But now this gas is treated to produce CNG for vehicle use.
When Poop to Power is fully up and running in 2019, the city will capture almost all of the methane from the wastewater treatment plant and convert it to renewable natural gas. With this initiative, they will replace over one million gallons of dirty diesel fuel with renewable natural gas, eliminate 21,000 tons of greenhouse gasses, and generate upwards of $3 million each year for ratepayers.
The initiative is result of a collaboration between the city’s Bureau of Environmental Services and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, as well as the private-sector partner, NW Natural.
Source: City of Portland