sustainablebusinessoregon.com; By Mason Walker, Associate editor
Associate editor: A $60 million project proposed in Dallas, Ore., will produce natural gas-fired electricity, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers and — if it evolves as planned — 120 permanent jobs.
Dubbed the Willamette Green Innovation Center, the project meets the definition of a co-generation plant, a facility that at once produces two types of usable energy simultaenously — in this case electricity and heat. As proposed, it would burn natural gas to produce electricity for the grid while capturing waste heat and CO2 to benefit the onsite hydroponic greenhouse.
The power plant will consist of two 4.36-megawatt natural gas turbines built by General Electric Co., similar to the ones being used in a similar project that just turned on in Camarillo, Calif.
Matt Bergeron, a development partner on the project, expects the facility to create 120 permanent jobs in the Polk County town just west of Salem, with most located in the greenhouse operation. The team is currently waiting on a potential European investor to complete a due diligence process before securing the $60M needed to move forward.