Sunday, August 27, 2006

News From My Backyard: SeQuential Biofuels Opens Solar-powered Biofuels Station in Eugene, OR

SeQuential Biofuels has opened a solar-powered retail biofuels station in Eugene, Oregon this week. The station offers a full range of ethanol and biodiesel blends: E10, E85, B5, B20 and B100.

“We have watched the offering of mainstream organic products and recycled products expand significantly over the last five years”, said Ian Hill, project developer and SeQuential Biofuels co-founder. “Today our customers are demanding domestically-produced, renewable motor fuel options as well.”

The station features a number of green design features including a 244-panel solar array that covers the fueling islands and a "living roof" consisting of 4,800 plants installed in five inches of soil on the roof of the attached convenience store. The 33kW solar array will provide 30% to 50% of the electrical power that the station will require annually.

The “living roof” will help to control rainwater runoff on the site and will help cool the convenience store during the summer. Other eco-friendly design elements include stormwater detention bioswales where plants will filter pollutants from rainwater that rinses the roadways and parking areas and will clean the water before it leaves the site. SeQuential also has made a significant effort to source building materials that are made in the Pacific Northwest region.

The new station also features many energy-efficient design features meant to reduce the station's energy consumption. “Building energy efficient buildings that work with the natural environment adds to SeQuential’s overall goal of sustainability and responsibility,” Hill said. “It just makes sense.”

A portion of the biodiesel dispensed at the station is received from SeQuential-Pacific Biodiesel in Salem, Oregon. SeQuential-Pacific Biodiesel is Oregon’s only ASTM-certified, commercial biodiesel production facility, producing one million gallons of biodiesel per year from used cooking oil collected throughout the Pacific Northwest and from canola oil grown in Eastern Oregon.

The land where the station is located was the site of a previous fuel station that shut down more than ten years ago. Under supervision of the former owner, the site had been contaminated by leaking gasoline tanks and pumps and the owner had abandoned it. SeQuential worked with Lane County and with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to clean up the previously polluted brownfield property and put it back into productive use.

“Businesses and individuals are increasingly aware of the impact that their choices have on our economy and on our natural environment,” Hill said. “SeQuential is dedicated to setting an example of responsible, sustainable development and to offering product options that create the most positive impact on people’s lives and communities.”

The fuel station also includes a convenience store that carries top-shelf natural foods and beverages, many of which are produced by regional companies. The store also houses an annex of Sweet Life Patisserie, an established local coffee and pastry shop renowned for its premium coffees, baked goods and savories, complete with wireless internet and an inviting seating area. Local farmers will stock a seasonal fresh produce stand also located at the station.

Founded in August 2002 by Ian Hill and Tomas Endicott, SeQuential Biofuels is a biofuels marketing, distribution and retail company with offices in Portland and Eugene, Oregon. Since its inception, the company has blazed the trail for the biofuels market in Oregon. In partnership with more than 20 regional fuel distributors, SeQuential offers commercial biodiesel/petroleum diesel blends to businesses, governments and individuals at more than 25 retail and cardlock pumps throughout the state.

In 2004, SeQuential formed SeQuential-Pacific Biodiesel, a joint venture with Pacific Biodiesel of Maui, Hawaii, to construct Oregon’s first and only commercial biodiesel production facility. The facility began operation in July 2005, and it produces one million gallons of ASTM-certified biodiesel made from used cooking oil collected from Pacific Northwest restaurants and food processors and from virgin canola oil grown in Eastern Oregon.

This is great! I've been waiting for this station to open for a while now. Now, whenever I'm in Eugene, I'll stop in to fill up with E10 before the trip home. I'd definitely encourage any of my readers in the Eugene area to check out the new SeQuential station. I hope SeQuential finds this station successful and opens up other stations in Oregon - Portland making the most sense for the next retail station.

[A hat tip to Green Car Congress]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just filled my tank with E10 at the SeQuential station today. Can't say I've ever gotten excited about a gas station before, but it's a pretty nifty setup, and the price is very good ($2.62 per gallon for E10, $2.85 for E85, and I believe $3.05 for B20... can't remember how much the B100 was). It's actually directly next door to a ConocoPhillips 76 station (which, incidentally is usually one of the cheapest gas stations in the Eugene area), and so far both stations seem to be matching each other's prices (well, at least for comparable products... obviously the 76 station doesn't carry B100!) Sadly, despite having the exact same price for gasoline, there were only three people filling up at SeQuential vs. probably 8-10 cars (mostly full-size trucks and SUVs, hmm...) filling up at the traditional station. Oh well, less hassle and higher octane for me I guess :-)