Renewable Energy Made Possible By Natural Gas at Miles Fiberglass and Composites

Miles Fiberglass and Composites (MFC) is a local woman and family-owned business headquartered in Clackamas, Oregon. With over six decades of experience in the fiberglass and composites industry, we are proud to be a trusted name in delivering high-quality products that consistently meet and exceed customer expectations.

Fiberglass is an extremely temperamental material to manufacture. The resin requires a constant temperature of around 70 degrees to cure properly. The temperature must be maintained for several hours, or the products may not cure properly, compromising their strength and reliability.

When we moved into a new 93,000 square feet production facility in Clackamas in November 2020, the electric heating system in the building posed a unique challenge to our operations. The electric system could not get the building temperature above 60 degrees. We were having a hard time getting our parts to cure.

We decided to replace the electrical heating system with a more reliable and efficient natural gas system. While the renovation came with a steep $25,000 price tag, it was an essential investment to protect our reputation and the quality of our products. Now we can efficiently maintain the heat in our building at a predictable 72 degrees, and we no longer must worry about power outages interrupting the curing process.

Fiberglass is stronger than many other materials, making it perfect for use in extreme environments. Its strength and ability to withstand corrosion and warping make it the ideal material for wind turbines.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration Oregon wind farms near the Columbia Gorge and the Blue Mountains generate nearly 4,000 megawatts of electricity. This accounts for nearly 14% of all energy produced in the state.

At MFC, we operate at the forefront of green energy, specializing in the nationwide inspection, maintenance, and repair of wind turbines. Our extensive experience in this field is unmatched, and we are proud to produce a diverse range of components while employing certified wind turbine field repair service technicians. Moreover, our commitment to excellence is reflected in our employment of one of the few Certified Composite Technician instructors on the West Coast.

Wastewater treatment plants also use our fiberglass products to help clean our water. MFC manufactures various products like fiberglass pipes, launder covers and baffles that treatment facilities use.

Many cities around the region use wastewater to create renewable natural gas. Portland’s “Poop to Power” program captures methane generated during the wastewater treatment process and uses it to power vehicles and equipment.

Our fiberglass products help make this possible and can help communities reduce reliance on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. Portland estimates that the Poop to Power program replaces over one million gallons of diesel fuel.

MFC remains dedicated to manufacturing top-quality fiberglass products in Oregon, supporting sustainable practices in the green energy sector. By continually adapting and investing in improvements, we strive to provide innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of our customers and contribute to a greener, more sustainable future.

Lori Miles-Olund is President of Miles Fiberglass & Composites.