Morning Roundup: Portland named Smart City; Hillsboro utility uses fat for energy

In today’s news, Portland joins the Smart City initiative, a Hillsboro water utility turns fat into power and shellfish harvesting is on hold.

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1. Portland is a “Smart City” after all

Portland was named a lead Smart City yesterday as part of Smart Cities Week. The White House announced it is expanding the Smart Cities Initiative by increasing federal investments to $80 million and doubling the number of participant cities to 70. Portland will join the Global City Teams Challenge with Atlanta, Georgia; Newport News, Virginia; Columbus, Ohio; Bellevue, Washington; Kansas City, Kansas; and Kansas City, Missouri. The team will develop blueprints for large-scale solutions to natural disasters, transportation systems and air quality improvements. Portland will also take part in a team focused on smart city technology.

2. Hillsboro utility harnesses fat for energy

A Hillsboro water utility is using fat and oil to derive power. Clean Water Services says it’s on track to cut its electric bill by $600,000 thanks to the new energy system it installed earlier this year, according to the Portland Business Journal. Clean Water spent $16.8 million for the system to convert fat, oil and grease into electrical power.

3. Clam, mussel harvest on hold

Razor clamming and mussel harvesting are on hold once again due to an ocean toxin. The Oregonian reports domoic acid was detected in the water. Domoic acid is produced when algae blooms, a result of warm ocean waters. The same toxin also shuttered coastal shellfish harvesting last year.

4. Pendleton grain towers to receive $9 million upgrade

United Grain is considering how to invest its $9 million pledge into grain facilities purchased from Pendleton Grain Growers in May. The East Oregonian reports United Grain was waiting until the wheat harvest was over to start planning upgrades. The tentative plans are to add capacity to the grain elevators and improve efficiency at the terminals so transportation vehicles can move in and out quickly.

5. ICYMI: “Provocative Trump” showed up to the presidential debate last night

Hillary Clinton was deemed winner of last night’s contentious debate. Given Trump’s tendency to fabricate, numerous news outlets produced a fact checking guide. NPR put together a transcript of the 90-minute debate, with key points fact-checked. 

6. On the scene: What can the U.S. learn from other countries about health care?

A Portland City Club panel discusses pros and cons of international health care models.