Plant would convert waste to energy
A new Eugene company wants to use farm and food byproducts to make gas and generate electricity
A Eugene company is proposing to build a bioenergy plant off Highway 99 near Junction City that would turn waste straw, vegetable and fruit waste, and manure into electricity. The plant would compost the waste and burn off the resulting gas to generate electricity.
The plant, proposed by Green Lane Energy Inc., is the topic of a public hearing to be held by the state Department of Environmental Quality on Tuesday.
The DEQ is proposing to issue a solid waste treatment facility permit for the project.
“This operation is unlikely to pose impacts to the environment and the public health,” the DEQ analysis concludes in recommending approval. “The operation beneficially utilizes the ‘waste’ materials to generate ‘renewable green power’ and reduces the waste stream into the environment.”
Green Lane is headed by Dean Foor, a Eugene engineer and consultant with expertise in biogas plants. The plant would be built on several acres of farmland on the east side of Highway 99, about halfway between Eugene and Junction City.
The land is owned by members of the Posner family, who also own Lane Forest Products, a Eugene mulch, compost and landscaping materials firm.
The state is proposing to let the facility accept dairy manure, ryegrass straw, used cooking oil and grease, food processor residue and food waste from companies and homes.
Efforts in Eugene and elsewhere to collect and compost food wastes, rather than dump them in a landfill, have been increasing steadily. Eugene earlier this year launched a program for the collection of food waste from commercial establishments for composting. Lane Forest Products and Eugene-based Rexius are taking the food waste and using it in compost.
It was not immediately clear whether the Green Lane Energy plant would be using Eugene’s food scraps.
Foor and the Posners did not return phone calls seeking comment.
The plant would have a waste material intake and storage area, concrete tanks where material would be mixed and would decompose and produce methane gas, and a burning unit that would use the gas to generate electricity, according to the DEQ’s analysis. The electricity would be fed into an existing nearby line in the electric grid. The plant would generate some liquid and solid wastes that would be sold as fertilizers or compost, the DEQ analysis said.
The state’s analysis states that the plant would operate on average more than 23 hours a day, seven days a week, and that much of the daily operation would be automated.
The bioenergy plant would sit next to an existing Lane Forest Products yard-waste compost plant, where Junction City’s leaves and other yard waste are composted, according to the DEQ. That plant has been in operation since 2006.
Details of the bioenergy plant undefined including its cost, how it would be funded and who would buy the power undefined were not immediately clear.