Portland General Electric’s president said the company plans to spend between $50 million and $100 million on around 39 MW of energy storage.
PGE’s energy storage plans will be included in an update to the integrated resource plan (IRP) it intends to file with the Oregon Public Utility Commission by mid-November in compliance with HB 2193, which calls for PGE and PacifiCorp to deploy a minimum of 5 MWh of energy storage by 2020.
- PGE’s IRP identified a need for 561 MW of capacity by 2021, of which about 240 MW would be met with renewable energy resources.
In PGE’s third quarter earnings call, Maria Pope, the company’s president and soon to be CEO, cited investment in energy storage for its ability to provide grid stability, flexibility and the capability to integrate additional renewable energy. Pope is scheduled to take over Jim Piro’s post as CEO in January.
Pope said the energy storage projects would be sited in a variety of locations, including at existing power plants, as well as at distribution and customer sites.
The renewable and storage plans in PGE’s IRP were even more ambitious at one point. The utility originally asked sought approval for investments in wind power totaling $1 billion, but the PUC trimmed that ask by 40%.
And PacifiCorp, which also serves customers in Oregon, also has ambitious renewable plans. It has asked the PUC to approve a $3 billion investment in wind power, but PUC staff says the utility has not demonstrated the need for the new resources, despite the backing of several environmental groups. The staff called the plan a "risky economic play" that was not justified by regulatory or reliability need, directing PacifiCorp to file a new plan by the end of October.