PGE issues RFP for baseload, peaking needs; including self-build benchmark

Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking electric power generating resources to help meet PGE’s capacity and energy needs by 2017.

The Oregon Public Utility Commission issued an order June 7 approving the RFP. Third-party bids are due Aug 8, PGE said in a June 8 news release. The RFP seeks both baseload and peaking resources, said PGE President and CEO Jim Piro.

Specifically, the RFP seeks 300-500 MW of baseload resources, approximately 200 MW of year-round flexible and peaking resources, and two seasonal peaking resources – approximately 200 MW of bi-seasonal (winter and summer) peaking supply and roughly 150 MW of winter-only peaking supply. PGE plans to bring these resources into its portfolio in the 2013-2017 timeframe.

PGE plans to submit self-build “benchmark” proposals in this competitive bidding process for new energy and capacity resources, and will also allow third-party bidders an option to submit proposals to build on PGE-owned sites – the “Carty” site near PGE’s existing Boardman power plant for the baseload resource and a site adjacent to PGE’s existing Port Westward plant for the flexible capacity resource. PGE will own and operate any resources developed on PGE’s sites. PGE expects to close the existing Boardman coal plant in 2020.

“The RFP includes a request for resources to meet day-to-day ‘baseload’ power needs and for flexible and ‘peaking’ resources to meet periods of high demand and help integrate variable renewable energy resources into PGE’s system,” Piro said. “These will serve our existing load, help meet future energy needs, and maintain system reliability. In addition, we are working separately to capture all achievable, cost-effective energy efficiency measures, develop new renewable resources to meet Oregon’s renewable portfolio standard requirements, and implement demand-side measures to help manage peak loads and improve system flexibility.”

PGE held workshops in January to help inform interested parties and potential bidders and seek input on the RFP, and submitted a final draft to the OPUC that month. The commission considered formal comments from stakeholders and a recommendation from its staff before ruling on the submitted RFP.

This RFP is conducted pursuant to competitive bidding guidelines established by the OPUC. It is one of two supply-side planned RFPs for the addition of new generation resources pursuant to the PGE integrated resource plan acknowledged by the OPUC in November 2010. PGE expects to issue the second RFP, for renewable resources, later this year.

Accion Group, an independent evaluator hired by the OPUC, will assist in conducting the RFP and reviewing bids to assure an open and impartial process. The independent evaluator will also provide an assessment of the bid scoring, including PGE’s benchmark proposals, and short list selection resulting from the RFPs. The independent evaluator will then issue a closing report with a detailed assessment of the process and its results.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.