Columbia Biogas signs grid-connection agreement with PacifiCorp
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
The plan for a food waste-to-energy facility in Northeast Portland moved ahead this week with an agreement that will connect it to the Pacific Power grid.
Officials at Columbia Biogas announced Tuesday that they signed an agreement to connect the food waste-to-energy plant to the grid at PacifiCorp’s Killingsworth substation in Northeast Portland.
The agreement comes three months after Columbia Biogas inked a deal to sell the power generated by the plant, planned for a site on Columbia Boulevard in Northeast Portland, to PacifCorp in a 20-year power purchase agreement.
"This is another landmark agreement with PacifiCorp," said John McKinney, president of Columbia Biogas in a news release. “We believe we are one of the first municipal food waste-to-energy projects in the United States which is located within an urban industrial setting."
"We appreciate the opportunity to work on this deal together with Columbia Biogas to bring cost-effective renewable energy to our customers," said Pat Egan, vice president of customer and community affairs for Pacific Power, the local utility operation of PacifiCorp.
The power purchase agreement with PacifiCorp was hailed as an important step in securing the financing to build the facility, which will accept food waste from commercial and industrial sources including grocery stores, restaurants, food distributors as well as food and beverage manufacturers. The facility will use an anaerobic digestion process to transform it into biogas and garden compost.
In late March, Columbia Biogas President John McKinney announced he would abandon plans to develop the facility in partnership with the city of Portland and seek private financing instead. The project became controversial after reports about the financing plan raised the alarm that the city would be on the hook for too much of the project's $55 million cost.
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