Just what is biomass?

Exploring Finley Buttes Landfill Gas

Most of you have chosen to have 100 percent of your energy come from renewable power with our Green SourceSM option. Green Source comes from a diverse mix of renewable sources.

That three percent slice of the pie comes from biomass, the power generated by burning plant and organic matter, or gases emitted by decomposing garbage. One type of biomass is landfill gas. Finley Buttes Landfill Gas is located 10 miles south of Boardman. Spanning 1,800 acres, the facility converts methane gas released by organic matter from a nearby landfill.

Here’s how it works:

  1. As organic waste decomposes, methane gas is released.
  2. Instead of allowing this greenhouse gas to enter the atmosphere, it is extracted from the landfill using a series of more than 80 collection wells and a blower system.
  3. The blower guides the gas through a mile-long pipeline to a combustion system, where electricity is harnessed from the gas.

Annually, Finley Buttes reduces carbon emissions by more than 1,111 tons and nitrogen oxide by more than 15 tons! And the environmental benefit doesn’t end there. The Environmental Protection Agency claims methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and that the environmental benefit of capturing and converting the methane gas to an energy resource helps prevent methane from migrating into the atmosphere and contributing to local smog and global climate change.

Green Source’s use of biomass power is an important part of Oregon’s clean energy future. Learn more about your renewable power sources.