Utility to Put Sewer Biogas in Pipeline

NW Natural has agreed to work with the City of Portland to put renewable natural gas converted from the city’s largest wastewater treatment plant on its pipeline and into vehicles.

In a vote yesterday, the Portland City Council authorized the construction of a RNG production facility at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant in north Portland that will recover and clean biogas to pipeline quality for injection into NW Natural’s pipeline. The project will also consists of building a natural gas vehicle fueling station.

“Through partnerships like these, our pipeline system can help communities close the loop on waste, which reduces air pollution and carbon emissions, and supports diverse and innovative energy opportunities,” said David H. Anderson, NW Natural president and CEO. “We look forward to this being the first of many renewable natural gas projects that move us toward a low-carbon future.”

NW Natural will build and maintain the fueling station, as well as the pipeline monitoring and interconnection. The City of Portland and NW Natural feel this project will help promote the use of renewable natural gas in Oregon.

“RNG is the lowest-carbon fuel option for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles,” said Bill Edmonds, director of environmental policy and sustainability at NW Natural.

Large trucks with new natural gas engines can produce 90% fewer nitrous oxide emissions compared to the cleanest diesel engine. By utilizing renewable natural gas, that same truck’s greenhouse gas emissions can drop 80% below diesel.

“No other technology on the market today provides that combination of environmental benefits all at once,” added Edmonds.

The City of Portland will be on Schedule H, a tariff approved by the Public Utility Commission of Oregon which enables the utility to install and maintain compression facilities for customers who need on-site fueling. The fueling station is projected to be online as early as the end of 2017 and be used for Environmental Services and other city trucks.

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