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Cogeneration System Turns Waste to Watts

Durham, OR - May 5, 2016

On May 4, Clean Water Services (CWS), Energy Trust of Oregon and the Oregon Department of Energy dedicated a new cogeneration system at the Durham Treatment Facility that converts wastewater and food grease into clean, renewable energy. With this innovative system, the treatment facility is the third water resource recovery plant in Oregon to co-digest fats, oils and grease to produce energy. The new system triples Durham’s renewable energy generation, producing 60 percent of the electricity needed to operate the facility when coupled with its existing 403-kilowatt solar array. The combined expected generation is more than 12,800 megawatt-hours per year—enough electricity to power 1,100 homes for a year and will help avoid producing 6,000 tons of carbon dioxide. The renewable electricity and heat will reduce CWS’s energy costs by nearly $800,000 annually as well as generate up to $340,000 a year in tipping fees from FOG haulers, ensuring value for ratepayers. The $16.8 million cogeneration facility received $3 million in cash incentives from Energy Trust and $2.8 million in tax credits from the Oregon Department of Energy.

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