Portland General Electric Co. unveiled plans to "nearly triple" its clean energy supplies for customers to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, and to comply with a new Oregon law requiring the state's largest investor-owned electric utilities to nullify their greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
Portland General Electric, or PGE, said Oct. 15 that it will need 1,500 MW to 2,000 MW of renewable resources and approximately 800 MW of nonemitting dispatchable capacity resources to reduce emissions from power provided to customers by at least 80% by 2030, 90% by 2035 and to achieve zero emissions by 2040. The utility is also "working to accelerate its exit from the coal-fired Colstrip plant by the end of 2025," according to the statement.
The utility concurrently filed with the Oregon Public Utility Commission a request for proposals to obtain more decarbonizing resources, a distribution system plan and an extension waiver for the next integrated resource plan to facilitate its plans to grow customers' lower-emissions options.
According to the request, PGE needs 372 MW of capacity by 2025 to "meet planned capacity adequacy standards" as well as at least an incremental average 650 MW of renewables and another 800 MW of nonemitting capacity resources to meet the Oregon law's requirement that utilities reduce emissions by 80% by 2030.
In its distribution system plan, PGE explained that "as much as 25%" of new supply flexibility sources could come from customers and distributed energy resources such as electric vehicles and rooftop solar installations and wants to accelerate adoption of those technologies to enhance affordability, reliance and resiliency. (Docket No. UM2005)
"We anticipate that, as [hosting capacity analysis] matures and more datasets become available (e.g., energy burden, socioeconomic indicators, [distributed energy resources] adoption), combining these data will enable us and our customers to identify and unlock the value of DERs," the utility said.
PGE on July 30 boosted its business growth and profit outlook for 2021, with one analyst suggesting the utility probably has "the best service territory within the continental 48."
"The outlook for the near-term economic growth is the strongest in decades, if not generations," CFO Jim Ajello said during the utility's second-quarter earnings conference call.
In its 2022 general rate case filed with state regulators in early July, PGE requested a 3.9% increase in customer prices for 2022 to cover nearly $1 billion in planned investments "to upgrade our system to deliver safe, reliable, and clean electricity to customers," Ajello said.