Clean energy developments in Oregon

The NW Energy Coalition, Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon, Climate Solutions, Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Pacific Power, Portland General Electric, Renewable Northwest and Sierra Club have agreed on a state legislative proposal to move Oregon utility ratepayers off of coal and to double the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 50%.

Bill specifics:

  • Investor-owned utility customers (PGE & PacifiCorp) will stop paying for coal-fired power by 2030, with the exception of PGE’s minority share of Colstrip power, which the utility may continue to rate-base until 2035.
  • The state’s RPS will rise in steps to 50% by 2040. That change applies only to investor-owned utilities (IOUs); publicly owned utilities are not affected.
  • Energy efficiency and demand response are affirmed as priority resources to be implemented prior to acquiring new generating resources.
  • A community solar program is established for IOUs, directing 15% of the program capacity to low-income residents.
  • The solar capacity standard in the existing RPS, which is largely completed, is repealed.
  • A number of changes to the RPS equalize the RPS obligation for service territory acquired by a publicly owned utility without consent of an investor-owned utility and Energy Service Suppliers.
  • The Public Utility Commission may approve some flexibility in utility compliance and rate treatment to address reliability and affordability for electricity consumers.
  • The PUC will initiate a number of proceedings and analyses to address issues related to intermittent resources.
  • A state policy is established to advance transportation electrification. The PUC is directed to require IOUs to develop plans for programs and investments for EV infrastructure and to allow prudent investments to be recovered in rates.

If passed, this proposal will put Oregon’s IOUs on a path to meet the state’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. There is still much to be done in the transition to clean energy; however, this joint proposal offers a promising next step.  For your information, a fact sheet can be found here.

For any questions or to discuss this opportunity, please contact Coalition policy director Wendy Gerlitz.

Media Coverage:

Utilities and enviers agree on radical shift in Oregon’s energy supply,” Oregon Live, January 7, 2016.

Oregon’s largest utilities agree to clean energy plan,” Statesman Journal, January 6, 2016.

Green energy advocates announce deal with power companies to cut coal,” Bend Bulletin, January 7, 2016.

Utilities, environmentalists strike huge deal to eliminate use of coal in Oregon, boost renewable energy,” Portland Tribune, January 6, 2016.

Oregon utilities agree to phase out coal-fired power,” Oregon Public Broadcasting, January 6, 2016.