Not quite a year after Commissioner Nick Fish said, "We have figured out a way to take poop and turn it into power," he and the Bureau of Environmental Services announced a natural gas fueling station opened at the city's wastewater treatment plant.
The station, the first milestone in the "Poop to Power" project, will provide fuel for the natural gas vehicles in the city's fleet. At first, they'll fill up on natural gas from conventional sources, but at some point in 2019 the station will use renewable natural gas made from wastewater treatment byproducts.
"Our future is green, and I'm very proud that we're bringing the first natural gas vehicles to the City's fleet," Fish said in a statement. "When the "Poop to Power" project is finished, Portland will have a local, clean fuel produced from recaptured waste — not fossil fuels."
In April 2017, the Portland City Council OK'd the project to recover nearly all of the waste methan from sewage treatment and convert it into renewable natural gas to displace the city's truck from using diesel.
BES Director Michael Jordan said this station solves one problem the city had: where to fill up with renewable natural gas.
"We've created that place," Jordan said in a statement.
Students at Linn-Benton Community College in Lebanon converted 6 natural gas vehicles. By the end of the year there will be 13 vehicles, and more vehicles will be added as the project moves forward.