Everybody does it… so why not make use of it?
“Biomass” is waste from animals, humans, or plants, and can be a great renewable resource to produce energy. Basically, poop is power!
Burned waste or captured methane will heat water to produce steam, the steam powers a turbine, the turbine runs a generator to make electricity. Cool, right?
In Oregon, many communities and farmers are putting biomass to good use. Cow manure in Oregon fields, wood and plants from forest restoration projects, and materials in wastewater treatment plants all produce usable biomass.
In addition to making use of materials that would otherwise go to waste, the biomass generates electricity with far less carbon output — and saves money in the process!
In May 2016, Clean Water Services‘ Durham Treatment Facility in Tigard celebrated the completion of its new cogeneration system, which converts wastewater and grease into renewable electricity. Using the system, Clean Water Services expects to save about $690,000 in electricity costs in the first year, and an additional $100,000 in heating costs. The Oregon Department of Energy was proud to support the project with a $2.8 million tax credit.