Columbia Biogas gets neighborhood blessing

Plans for a biogas plant in North Portland received a stamp of approval from its neighbors.

Plans for a biogas plant in North Portland received a stamp of approval from its neighbors.

Columbia Biogas, which plans to build a plant in North Portland to turn food waste into energy, announced Wednesday it had entered into an agreement with the Cully Association of Neighbors.

The "Good Neighbor Agreement" is a 10-year commitment that Columbia Biogas and the neighborhood association will work together on such issues as community-friendly operations of the plant and support for the neighborhood economy.

The agreement touches on the job opportunities created by the planned $40 million plant and outlines a surcharge on food waste brought to the facility. The fee will go toward a grant program to support community rehabilitation and enhancement projects.

Columbia Biogas is in the final design stages for a plant near the intersection of Northeast Columbia Boulevard and I-205, announced in October. The facility will convert commercial food waste into renewable energy, water and high-quality fertilizer using an anaerobic digestion process. The plant is slated to produce close to 5 megwatts of energy, approximately enough to power 5,000 homes.

The biogas industry is poised to grow to 12 times its current size in Oregon, according to a recent report from The Climate Trust and Energy Trust of Oregon.

Columbia Biogas' permits have been approved by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Metro.

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