Oregon's first utility-scale facility to turn commercial food waste to electricity is up and running in Junction City.
The J-C Biomethane plant captures methane from decomposing food waste and turns the gas into electricity. Its 1.5 megawatt capacity is enough to power half the homes in Junction City.
Matt Krumenauer with the Department of Energy says it's the first project of its kind in Oregon and breaks ground nationally.
"We think it's the first of its kind in the country that's using primarily municipal food waste to generate not only renewable electricity," says Krumenauer. "But also recover nutrients that are then applied to some of the farms nearby the facility."
Krumenauer says a compost facility next door processes some of the byproducts. That facility also has trucks delivering material into urban areas. Those can bring back food waste on return trips.
Government sources account for more than a quarter of the plant's $16 million cost.