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Press Release
Commission Acknowledges Portland General Electric Least-Cost Energy Resource Plan
July 22, 2004 (2004 - 023)
 
Contacts: Lee Beyer, Chairman, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Ray Baum, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
 
Salem, OR – The Oregon Public Utility Commission has acknowledged Portland General Electric’s (PGE) Integrated Resource Plan. The plan includes the construction or acquisition of a high-efficiency gas-fired resource, likely to be built in Columbia County and acquisition of approximately 195 MW of wind power. PGE will also work to develop transmission capacity over the Cascades for wind and other resources.
 
PGE has said it will likely build the 350 MWa Port Westward gas-fired power plant, using G-Class technology, that could produce enough electricity for as many as 230,000 homes.
 
"This plan, when combined with the mix of options in it, should yield the best deal for customers over the long run," Commission Chairman Lee Beyer said.
 
"I want to stress this acknowledgement does not lock in how the energy resources will be treated when we set rates in the future. Legally, the Commission must reserve judgment on all ratemaking issues for an appropriate contested case. We look at the least-cost resource plan as a complement to the ratemaking process."
 
The Commission’s decision to acknowledge the least-cost plan means the plan, as a whole, appears reasonable based on the information and analysis currently available.
 
Acknowledgement of the plan will not relieve PGE of its responsibility to prove, in a future ratemaking proceeding, that its actions were prudent.
 
A dozen interested participants including the Citizens’ Utility Board, Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities, Northwest Independent Power Producers, Oregon Department of Energy and PUC staff scrutinized PGE’s Energy Resource Plan.
 
Northwest Independent Power Producers Coalition had requested another round of bids for a new natural gas plant. The Commission said the issue of a new bid is moot since the plan acknowledges a generic gas resource.
 
In a future ratemaking docket regarding Port Westward, the Commission will look carefully at PGE’s costs. The Commission may use the lowest comparable bid as the "cap" on PGE’s costs. Those decisions, however, will be left for future ratemaking proceedings.
 
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