Portland General Electric Company (PGE) has released a 2016 Integrated Resource Plan that is designed to improve its energy efficiency, increase its use of renewable resources, and boost its customer-side demand response.
Not only is this new strategy expected to make more of an impact on renewable energy than new solar initiatives will, but the plan also calls for increasing wind resources, relying more on natural gas, and ceasing a coal-plant operation in order to meet the 2016 Oregon Clean Electricity Plan’s requirement of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. Currently, PGE estimates that 15 percent of the energy it provides comes from renewable resources.
PGE helped develop the Oregon Clean Electricity Plan, which, along with the 2020 requirements, calls for 50 percent of all electricity use in the state to be renewable by 2040. It also requires electricity providers to eliminate coal from their customer energy mix by 2035.
PGE’s Integrated Resource Plan, which was filed with the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) last November, is the first step in achieving those goals. PGE said the plan is the result of 18 months of meetings, analysis and research.
The plan calls for adding the following resources by 2020:
- A minimum of 135 average megawatts in cost-effective energy-efficiency measures. This includes all the measures that the Energy Trust of Oregon believes are achievable.
- Up to 77 megawatts of demand-response resources. According to PGE, these measures can reliably produce short-term reductions in customer demand in order to help manage loads during peak demand times.
- An average of 175 megawatts of renewable energy, which is the equivalent of up to 515 megawatts of wind energy. PGE also intends to also use tax credits and favorable market conditions to boost its total renewable energy to 27 percent by 2025.
- Shutting down coal operations at PGE’s 600 megawatt Boardman plant in 2020. PGE still plans to deliver 375 to 550 megawatts of resources year-round and up to 400 megawatts for seasonal demand—mainly from natural gas (up to 860 megawatts) and solar (50 megawatts).
OPUC staff and stakeholders have until mid-May to review the Integrated Resource Plan and provide comments and recommendations. If OPUC approves the plan, PGE says it will work with OPUC to develop competitive bidding processes for renewable resources such as hydroelectric power, flexible natural gas generation, geothermal power, energy storage and power-supply contracts.