Oregon’s largest utility, PGE, has announced it will end operations at the state’s only coal-fired plant by 2020. April Baer reports.
PGE’s Boardman plant is a one-of-a-kind operation. It’s the last of a generation of coal-burning power plants in Oregon, reviled by environmentalists for the greenhouse gases it generates, but still a relatively cheap alternative when viewed solely from the coal it consumed, and the electricity it provides.
PGE spokesman Steve Corson says the plan to replace Boardman’s megawattage is complex, and would rely on the cooperation of state and federal regulators.
He says the company will look at a variety of options. He would not rule out buying power from out-of-state.
He was not able to say specifically how the closure might affect rates, other than to say that PGE has run sophisticated computer models to assess the change.
To some extent, the announcement is a watershed for conservationists, who’ve been pressing for Boardman’s closure for years.
Mayor Sam Adams applauded the announcement, saying he supports PGE’s decision to close the plant by 2020 or even sooner if that’s viable.