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PGE Announces New Energy Projects

OPB | June 3, 2013 6:11 p.m. | Portland

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Portland General Electric announced a billion dollar plan Monday to build two new projects, capable of generating more than 700 megawatts of electricity.

PGE ran three bidding processes to handle three problems: greenhouse gases, the utility’s overall generation, and energy fluctuations. That last one was addressed months ago – when PGE announced it’d build a natural gas plant near Clatskanie.

To tackle greenhouse gases, PGE president Jim Piro says the utility plans to put up 116 wind turbines in eastern Washington. It’s a project Puget Sound Energy first developed.

“We were the only one looking for new renewable energy and this was to meet our next milestone of 15 percent renewables by 2015, so it was a very competitive process.”

PGE also found an international builder to construct a natural gas plant next to its Boardman coal facility.  That bid was lower than the utility could do by itself.

The gas plant and wind farm are budgeted to cost nearly a billion dollars combined.

Piro says any rate increase would have to get regulatory approval.

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