Two new Portland General power facilities in operation, a third on the way

Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) said in a Feb. 13 earnings statement that it has made progress lately on three power development projects, with two going into service late in 2014.

“I’m very proud of our employees’ accomplishments in delivering outstanding customer service along with strong operating and financial performance in 2014,” said Jim Piro, president and chief executive officer. “In addition to achieving excellent performance at our generating facilities, we delivered on the significant objective of completing two new major generating plants — on time and on budget. These plants will play an important role in meeting our customers’ energy needs for years to come in a safe, sustainable and reliable manner.”

The generation projects are:

  • Tucannon River Wind Farm – Portland’s second fully owned and operated large-scale wind project with total installed capacity of 267 MW was placed into service on Dec. 15, 2014, and will allow PGE to increase the amount of renewable power in its system and meet the requirements of Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.
  • Port Westward Unit 2 – PGE’s 220-MW natural gas-fired plant was placed into service on Dec. 30, 2014, and is designed for maximum flexibility to help meet real-time fluctuations in customer demand and integrate intermittent renewable resources, such as wind.
  • Carty Generating Station – Construction is on schedule for this 440-MW natural gas-fired baseload plant located near Boardman, Ore. The plant is expected to be placed into service during the second quarter of 2016 at an estimated cost of $450m, excluding AFDC. Major foundation work and the cooling tower are complete, the heat recovery steam generator modules and casings have been installed and welding of piping components has commenced.

On Dec. 4, 2014, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) issued an order that, when combined with customer credits, resulted in an overall increase in customer prices of approximately one percent. Embedded in the price change was a decrease related to PGE’s base business and customer credits, and increases related to the addition of the Tucannon River Wind Farm and Port Westward Unit 2. These prices became effective Jan. 1, 2015.

On Feb. 12, PGE filed a general rate case with a 2016 test year which would result in an overall price increase of 3.7 percent effective in 2016, primarily to recover the costs associated with the Carty Generating Station which is expected to begin serving customers in the second quarter of 2016. PGE has initiated a comprehensive 10-month review and approval process with the OPUC in order to include this resource in prices when the plant goes in service. PGE expects the commission to issue a final order with approved price changes before the end of 2015, with new customer prices expected to be effective in two stages.

Portland General Electric is a vertically integrated electric utility that serves approximately 842,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the Portland/Salem metropolitan area of Oregon.