New York Company Proposes
by Christina Williams
Developer could spend $850 million on plant construction
Development Partners Group LLC wants to build a $800 million natural gas plant in Troutdale.
A well-financed New York energy developer wants to build a natural gas power plant to serve Portland General Electric customers.
Development Partners Group LLC proposes building a natural gas plant in Troutdale at the former site of the Reynolds Aluminum Plant -- a site now owned by the Port of Portland and known as the Troutdale Reynolds Industrial Site. The company will soon file an intent with the state of Oregon.
Development Partners intends to build a 650-megawatt facility on the site at a cost of about $800 million. The company would own and operate the plant for three years with an ultimate goal of selling it to PGE, said Bob Howard, director with Development Partners.
The group has developed similar plants in Washington, Idaho and Northern California.
The proposed Troutdale plant holds similar specifications to a natural gas plant PGE has proposed building near Boardman to keep up with increasing demand.
PGE will issue a request for proposal seeking options to fulfill its customers' energy needs under its Integrated Resources Plan. Development Partners plans to respond to that request with the proposal for the Troutdale plant.
"We were watching the wind integration problems in Texas two years ago and started to realize there were so many people developing renewable energy projects, but there weren't a lot of people developing the natural gas plants that back up renewable energy," Howard said.
Brianne Hyder, spokeswoman for Portland General Electric said PGE would consider any proposal submitted under the RFP process.
"We don't have the specifics of the proposed plant in Troutdale," Hyder said. "But the goal is to have the least-costly option for our customers. It would be evaluated along with everything else."
The plant would not replace the power being generated by the Boardman coal-fired plant that PGE plans to shut down by 2020, but would keep up with growing demand.
The Reynolds site is attractive as a place to build a natural power plant because it is close to Portland, where the bulk of power demand comes from, is zoned industrial and would be able to make use of reclaimed water from a nearby Troutdale wastewater treatment facility.
However, the proposal is likely to generate controversy mainly because of environmental concerns.
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