Portland General Electric Plots More Renewable Energy

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Portland General Electric Co. has presented a new integrated resource plan to the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) for approval. The new plan focuses on adding more renewable power, capturing more energy efficiency, and strengthening partnerships with customers to help balance energy supply and demand during periods of peak energy use.

“This is the first resource plan developed since we expanded our commitment to cut PGE greenhouse-gas emissions,” says Maria Pope, PGE’s president and CEO. “It proposes measured steps we can take today to address climate change while allowing flexibility for adjustments as technology and policies continue to evolve.”

Developed through a multiyear research and engagement process that included constructing and testing 43 different portfolios to identify resource actions needed between now and 2025, the plan calls for the following measures:

  • 150 (average) MW of additional renewable resources by 2023;
  • A similar amount (157 average MW) of additional cost-effective energy efficiency measures;
  • Increased reliance on demand response to help balance sources and uses of electricity during peak months. This includes 141 MW during winter months, 211 MW during summer months and 4 MW of customer battery storage.
  • Additional actions to help meet capacity needs resulting from expiring contracts and the retirement of baseload coal plants, such as PGE’s Boardman Generating Station.

PGE filed the plan with the OPUC on July 19, kicking off a public review process. Under the plan, PGE will seek to meet customers’ energy needs without building greenhouse gas-emitting resources.

Action on the resource plan by the commission – the formal regulatory term is called “acknowledgement” – is expected by the first quarter of 2020. If the OPUC acknowledges the plan, PGE will then conduct a request for proposals (RFP) for new renewable resources, implement the necessary energy efficiency actions and demand response programs, and seek opportunities for bilateral negotiations with existing generators in the region to meet resource capacity needs. If enough capacity cannot be acquired through bilateral negotiations, the company will consult with the OPUC and potentially conduct a second RFP, which would be limited to non-emitting energy resources.

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