Oregon DOE restarts comment period on proposed new gas unit at PGE Carty facility

After a brief delay, the Oregon Department of Energy and Portland General Electric (PGE) (NYSE:POR) have restarted the regulatory process for additional generating facilities at the gas-fired Carty power complex in Morrow County, Oregon.

The roughly 440-MW gas-fired Unit 1 at Carty entered commercial operation in late July. PGE already has approval for a second gas-fired unit at Carty to bring total generating capacity to about 900 MW.

In September, PGE filed a site amendment request with the state DOE that calls for eventually expanding Carty to more than 1,300 MW, including about 50 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) power.

But a few weeks later, PGE sought and was granted a temporary suspension on the request for amendment (RFA).

Now the Oregon DOE announced on Dec. 22 that it had received a formal request from the utility on Dec. 14 to re-initiate the review. The new comment deadline is Feb. 3, the state DOE said.

Parties who had already filed comments during the September comment period won’t need to re-file the state DOE said. The Oregon DOE acts as staff to the Energy Facility Siting Council.

The original Carty plant approval in 2012 covered two natural gas-fired generating blocks (Units 1 and 2); as well as supporting facilities including 500-kV transmission lines, Grassland switchyard, and other components.

While Unit 1 entered service in July, construction has not started on Unit 2.

The requested amendment seeks to extend the construction start deadline for Unit 2 by two years; increase the area within the site boundary from 2,400 to 2,918 acres; construct and operate a 330‐MW natural gas, simple‐cycle combustion turbine generator (Unit 3) and associated plant additions; construct and operate a 50‐MW photovoltaic solar unit; and increase the nominal capacity of Unit 2 from 450 to 530 MW and total nominal capacity of the facility from 900 to 1,360 MW.

Proposed related and supporting facilities include a 500 kV substation; interconnecting transmission lines and associated lattice steel structures; and, depending on final design, could include additional water pipelines, utility power lines, control and communication systems, and other support systems.

The Carty Generating Station is located 13 miles southwest of Boardman in Morrow County. The facility is adjacent to the Boardman coal plant. The transmission line approved in the original site certificate as a related and supporting facility to the energy facility extends across the western portion of Morrow County and into eastern Gilliam County to connect to the existing Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Slatt Substation.

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.