Biodigester will Make Fuel from Cow Pies
by Rob Manning
Oregon Public Broadcasting, December 12, 2008
A year after starting to collect ratepayer money to offset greenhouse gas emissions, Northwest Natural is spending the money on a project that will also help the state's largest dairy farm.
Northwest Natural is installing what's called a "biodigester" at the Three-Mile Canyon dairy farm in Boardman.
The facility will ingest cow manure and dramatically cut methane gas emissions on the farm.
Methane is considered a far worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
Bill Edmonds with Northwest Natural says the biodigester will also provide a source of natural gas for Three Mile Canyon.
Bill Edmonds: "For us, anyway, it's a moment of optimism because we really are turning a waste product, turning something that's not useful, turning something that's creating problems into useful energy."
Funding for the project comes from Northwest Natural shareholders and ratepayers who've chosen the "Smart Energy" option on their bills, and from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. It also benefited from state tax credits.
The biodigester is expected to be running by next March.
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