Portland General Electric Co. (PGE) has filed its 2016 integrated resource plan (IRP) with the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC). According to PGE, the plan would put the utility on target for meeting the state’s recently expanded renewable portfolio standard of 50% by 2040.
PGE, headquartered in Portland, is a vertically integrated electric utility that serves more than 863,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the state. The IRP calls for increases in energy efficiency and customer-side demand response, renewable energy resources, and flexible dispatchable resources. The utility says the plan is the result of 18 months of analysis and research, including meetings and workshops to solicit input from customer groups, environmental advocates, regulators, energy experts and other key stakeholders.
The IRP also includes a four-year action plan to acquire new resources and analyzes long-term expectations for PGE’s resource needs and portfolio performance. It calls for adding the following resources by 2020:
- A minimum of an average of 135 MW in energy efficiency resources, including all cost-effective energy efficiency measures identified as achievable by the Energy Trust of Oregon;
- Up to 77 MW of demand response resources – measures that can reliably deliver short-term reductions in customer demand to help manage loads during peak periods;
- A 175 MW average of renewable energy to meet state law requiring 20% renewables by 2020.
In addition, the plan calls for new resources to balance renewables and provide power when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining, as well as fulfill the energy shortfall resulting from expiring power purchase agreements and the cessation of coal operations at PGE’s 600 MW Boardman plant in 2020.
According to PGE, these would be flexible dispatchable resources – resources that can be ramped up and down quickly as needed. The plan calls for 375 MW-550 MW of resources available year-round and up to 400 MW of resources available to meet seasonal demand.
Now that PGE has submitted its plan, OPUC staff members and stakeholders have up to six months to review it and provide comments and recommendations to the commission, which will ultimately decide whether the plan makes sense for customers and should be implemented.
If the OPUC acknowledges the plan, PGE will work with the commission to develop competitive bidding processes to evaluate and select new resources. Bids could include renewables, hydroelectric power, flexible natural gas generation, geothermal power, energy storage and/or power-supply contracts.