Portland General ready to start Port Westward 2 construction

Portland General Electric (PGE) (NYSE:POR) expects to start construction on its Port Westward 2 natural gas power plant in April, a spokesperson said March 26.

The 220-MW Port Westward 2 (PW2) unit is to be built in Clatskanie, Ore., next to the existing Port Westward plant. The project is expected to be online in Q1 2015 following a two-year build time. That’s according to a March 11 investor presentation posted on the PGE website.

The capital cost is expected to be between $300m and $310m (excluding allowance for funds used during construction). PGE’s Port Westward 2 benchmark bid was selected in January to meet year-round flexible capacity needs – including the incorporation of variable wind and solar.

PGE currently expects that its capital expenditure on PW2 will run $161m in 2013, $107m in 2014 and $33m in 2015. Building the new plant is expected to create up to 200 new construction jobs.

Port Westward 2 will use reciprocating engine gensets supplied by Wärtsilä. Black & Veatch and Oregon-based Harder Mechanical, as a contractual joint venture, will have the turnkey contract for construction of the project.

In addition to Port Westward 2, the company’s latest integrated resource plan (IRP) has identified a need for 200 MW of winter and summer peaking supply and 150 MW of winter-only peaking supply.

The resource plan also identified the need for baseload capacity of between 300 MW and 500 MW. The project would have a target online date between 2014 and 2017. PGE is currently in talks with the top performing bid on the short list. Final resource selection is expected by mid-year.

Coming into 2013, PGE’s “power sources a percent of retail load” were 26% coal; 23% hydro; 21% gas; 21% purchased power and 9% wind and solar.

PGE has said it is taking a “progressive approach to reduce coal generation.” Although the Shaw Group is installing new emission controls on the Boardman coal plant, that facility is still scheduled to close by the end of 2020. Boardman is a 585-MW coal plant in northeastern Oregon.

PGE also signed a MOU with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) in January for the revamped 500-kV Cascade Crossing transmission project.

The Oregon Public Utility Commission approved PGE’s plan to file a new IRP in November 2013, after the RFPs have been completed.

PGE serves about 828,000 customers or roughly 50% of Oregonians and 75% of Oregon’s commercial and industrial activity.

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.