FERC signs off on Portland General buy of part of Boardman coal plant

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 14 approved the sale of 10% of the Boardman coal-fired plant in Oregon to Portland General Electric, which already owns 80% of the plant.

On Sept. 19, Portland General Electric requested authorization for its acquisition of all the rights, titles, and interests of Power Resources Cooperative in the Number One Boardman Station, a coal-fired generation facility, and associated equipment and facilities, as well as certain contracts and other rights related to Power Resources ownership interests in this facility.

Portland General is a vertically integrated electric utility located in the Western Electric Coordinating Council that provides electric service in Oregon. Portland General owns or has under long term contracts approximately 3,000 MW of generating capacity.

Power Resources is a non-jurisdictional, Oregon cooperative corporation organized under Oregon Law serving retail customers in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Montana, Nevada, and Utah. Power Resources is owned and controlled by its members and operates on a non-profit basis.

The Boardman Project includes: the Number One Boardman Station, a single unit, 642.2-MW coal-fired facility located near Boardman, Oregon; a generator tie line and interconnection facilities that interconnect the generating facility to the Slatt Substation on the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission system; a line used to deliver station power to the generating facility that runs from PacifiCorp’s 230-kV Dalreed Substation; and other related equipment and facilities.

Portland General owns an 80% undivided interest in these facilities, Power Resources owns a 10% undivided interest and Idaho Power owns a 10% undivided interest. “The Number One Boardman Station is scheduled to cease coal-fired operations by December 31, 2020, FERC noted. “Applicant states that further operation of the Number One Boardman Station after that time will require repowering with an alternative fuel source.”

Power Resource currently sells its entire share of the Boardman Project output (10%) to the Turlock Irrigation District (TID) in California, pursuant to the TID power purchase agreement (PPA) dated November 1992, with that contract running to the end of 2018. 

“Applicant states that the Proposed Transaction does not have an adverse effect on competition,” FERC wrote in the Nov. 14 approval. “Applicant states that under the Proposed Transaction there will be no change in market concentration resulting from the Proposed Transaction because the share of capacity in the Number One Boardman Station to be acquired by Portland General will remain fully committed to TID pursuant to the TID PPA, which does not expire until December 2018. Therefore, Applicant contends that the Proposed Transaction does not raise any horizontal market power concerns.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.