From Damaging Greenhouse Gas to Local Clean Fuel: Happening in Portland!

Have you heard the good news? A groundbreaking project to convert waste methane from Portland’s sewage treatment processing plant into renewable natural gas will soon be underway. The clean fuels will be sold in Portland and elsewhere to replace diesel fuel in trucks.

This effort will generate upwards of $3 million in revenue a year, and replace 1.34 million gallons of dirty diesel fuel with clean renewable natural gas (enough to run 154 garbage trucks for a year) — making this project great for our local economy, our air and local communities.

Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program will help this project develop a local market for RNG so we can keep more of the benefits locally. “Clean fuel markets contribute to the financial health of this project. Clean fuels programs are already creating new benefits for our climate and air,” says Jana Gastellum, Climate Program Director for Oregon Environmental Council.

“We are creating a triple-win for the public in terms of revenue, climate action and cleaner air,” said Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish. “The renewable natural gas we will produce is truly local and homegrown, a by-product of the waste from every Portland household that we can now repurpose.”

Portland City Council unanimously approved the project, authorizing Environmental Services to build the infrastructure needed to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant and distribute it through NW Natural’s network. City Council also authorized the construction of an RNG fueling station at the plant. The $12 million package of construction costs will have a payback period of about four years.

“Because our product is a renewable fuel and not a fossil fuel, it commands a five-to-ten times higher price on the renewable energy market,” said Environmental Services Director Mike Jordan. “Doing the right thing turns out to be a great deal.”

For more information, check out Environmental Services’ infographic here.