Proposals for Biopower Projects Exceed Expectations

Energy generated from organic waste may be the hidden treasure in Oregon’s energy future. Energy Trust of Oregon, Inc., has received 25 proposals in response to a request for proposals seeking projects that turn organic waste into electricity. Projects could begin generating power as early as 2006.

Through this request, Energy Trust has committed at least $4.7 million to provide financial incentives for new biopower projects able to deliver power to Pacific Power and Portland General Electric. Eligible resources include landfill gas, wood waste from mills or forests, dairy manure, waste gas from sewage treatment, and other biomass sources. “As far as we know, this is the first time anyone in Oregon has gone out looking specifically for biomass-fueled power generation,” said Adam Serchuk, biopower program manager, Energy Trust. “The response far exceeds our expectations, and suggests that biopower can be an important part of the energy mix for Oregon in years to come. We expect to use the positive response to this initial RFP to create a pipeline of clean, renewable energy projects over the coming years.” According to Serchuk, the 25 projects total 91 MW of gross nameplate capacity — enough energy to power 50,000 average homes. Entities proposing projects are distributed across 17 Oregon counties and include wastewater treatment facilities, landfills, dairies and mills. Energy Trust is currently reviewing each proposal. By July 15, Energy Trust will invite selected respondents to participate in Round Two of the RFP process, which will call for more detailed technical and financial information. Second-round submissions will be due to Energy Trust by October 14.
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