Salem Breaks Ground on New Facility That Turns Waste Into Renewable Energy

Posted on January 5, 2019

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem (City), Energy Trust of Oregon (Energy Trust), and Portland General Electric (PGE) are excited to announce the launch of an innovative project at the Willow Lake Cogeneration Facility, one of only 11 facilities in the state of Oregon that is presently using biogas, a byproduct of wastewater treatment, to produce renewable energy. On Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett, Keizer Mayor Cathy Clark, Peter West, director of Energy Programs at Energy Trust, and Bill Nicholson, senior vice president of Transmission and Distribution for PGE invite the community to participate in the project’s groundbreaking ceremony. The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. at the Willow Lake Wastewater Treatment Facility at 5915 Windsor Island Road North in Keizer, Oregon.

The Willow Lake treatment plant has produced clean, renewable energy from biogas for more than 50 years. Once the construction is complete, the cogeneration facility will supply nearly one half of the total power needs at the wastewater treatment plant. This will keep 5,000 metric tons of pollution-causing gases from being released to our atmosphere. It is expected to save the City more than $300,000 in energy costs each year.

In addition, the cogeneration facility upgrade:

  • Will be able to produce up to 1,200 kW of electricity – about 50 percent of the electricity needed to operate the plant for a year, or enough to power over 900 homes.
  • Was awarded a $3 million grant from PGE’s Renewable Development Fund.
  • Received more than $3 million in cash incentives from Energy Trust of Oregon.

Construction of the facility upgrades will be managed by Slayden Construction Group Inc. of Stayton, Oregon. The cogeneration engine and heat recovery system are being provided by Peterson Power Systems, Inc. Facility upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of 2019. This City of Salem project was made possible by the support of Energy Trust of Oregon, the Oregon Department of Energy, and customers participating in Portland General Electric’s Green Future Program through the Renewable Development Fund. In all, the grant funds and renewable energy incentives received from these project partners have provided more than half of the $9 million in construction costs.

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