- Portland General Electric has filed its 2016 Integrated Resource Plan with the Oregon Public Utility Commission, outlining a strategy that focuses on energy efficiency and customer-side demand response, in the next four years, while also leaning on natural gas to replace coal.
- Included in the plan are more than 200 MW of demand response and energy efficiency, part of its path to reaching 20% renewables by 2020, and then 50% by 2040.
- PGE also plans to invest in 375-550 MW of annual dispatchable resources to help offset the intermittent renewable energy.
A year ago, PGE signed an implementation agreement to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market. Now the utility has released its long-term planning, which is notable for the energy it doesn't use: New demand response and efficiency will make a greater impact than new solar, and the three will combine for almost 400 MW.
At least 135 MW average in energy efficiency will be added within the next four years, which includes all of the cost-effective energy efficiency measures identified as achievable by the Energy Trust of Oregon. The plan also includes up to 77 MW of demand response resources.
In actual generation, PGE says it will add 175 average MW of renewable energy to its portfolio, the equivalent of up to 515 MW of wind resources, which will help it meet 2020 renewables targets. And the utility will also seek to take advantage of tax credits and "favorable market conditions" to begin meeting interim goals in 2025.
But less prominent in the utility's plan is the fact that it intends to lean heavily on natural gas to meet customer demand. How that will play into the EIM and California's climate goals remains to be seen but the utility is also phasing out coal generation.
The utility is shutting down its 600 MW coal-fired Boardman plant in 2020. Its plan calls for up to 550 MW of resources available year-round, and up to 400 MW of resources available to meet seasonal demand. That would largely come from up to 860 MW of gas-fired generation and 50 MW of solar power to its Carty plant in Boardman.