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Oregon communities using municipal waste to create their own clean energy futures

By District Energy posted 09-09-2020 14:11


Portland Business Journal


Leaders across Oregon are making innovative investments that will allow their communities to create more of their own clean energy, help control costs for residents, and save millions in taxpayer money.

They’re turning their water resource recovery facilities, which clean and treat wastewater from our homes and businesses, into clean energy power plants.

On average, treating wastewater can be up to 25% of a municipality’s electric bill. But that’s no longer the case in many cities and towns in Oregon, including Salem.

The city’s Willow Lake Water Pollution Control Facility is now able to produce about half of the electricity it uses each year – right on site. That’s due in part to a newly built cogeneration plant, which uses organic waste from wastewater to produce both electricity and heat.

The updated cogeneration facility began generating energy this summer and will offset energy needed to process up to 100 million gallons of wastewater per day produced by the cities of Salem, Turner and Keizer, saving $300,000 per year. With the future in mind, Salem included additional space in the cogeneration building to create more energy at Willow Lake as the region’s population continues to grow.

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