Columbia Biogas Puts Portland One Step Closer to Energy Self-Sufficiency:
Stronger than expected private financing interest in this company moves plan forward
Portland-based company Columbia Biogas (CBG) and Portland Mayor Sam Adams announced today a new move in the company’s plan to develop a facility that takes food waste and turns it into a renewable energy resource. As the company announced on Wednesday, March 28 at the Northwest Environmental Business Council, Columbia Biogas will privately finance the facility over the coming months.
The City and the Portland Development Commission will continue to assist this project. Columbia Biogas will create approximately 85 construction jobs and 20 operations jobs at the facility which is located on Columbia Boulevard in the Cully neighborhood. The company established a Jobs Subcommittee with the Cully Association of Neighbors and is working with key individuals and organizations in the local area to develop a job training, recruiting and hiring program targeting the local neighborhood including women and minorities.
Mayor Adams notes: “Portland is focused on four local cluster strengths and clean technology is one of those four key cluster industries. Columbia Biogas’s decision to locate a state-of-the-art food waste to renewable energy facility in Portland moves us one step closer to our goal of becoming North America’s hub for the clean energy industry. Once built, the Columbia Biogas facility will join other cutting-edge examples of clean energy production such as thin film solar, advanced hydro-electric, and innovative wind power.”
“Although the public benefits of our facility provide a strong basis for a public/private partnership, we have recently experienced significant interest from the financial sector to fund the project,” said Columbia Biogas President John McKinney. McKinney says he looks forward to collaborating with the City as the project moves forward. “We know through our own research and analysis that our facility has the potential to provide cost saving benefits to City government and Portland businesses. The project also dovetails perfectly with the Economic Development Strategy, Climate Action Plan and Portland Plan, and creates job opportunities in a distressed neighborhood,” he said.
Mayor Adams is passionate about the project and isn’t surprised by the interest in private financing. “Columbia Biogas’ advanced manufacturing technology will prevent commercial food waste from clogging our sewers or ending up in our landfills, and will generate greatly needed jobs and economic development,” Mayor Adams said. “I am also enthusiastic about the up to 3,000 Portland homes being powered by commercial food waste that otherwise gets trucked away, which helps us to meet our Climate Action Goals and moves Portland closer to energy self-sufficiency.” OPB and Sustainable Business Oregon broke the news this morning. Listen to it here: