PGE Plans Retool of Port Westward Power Plant
by Kelly Moyer
South County Spotlight, December 10, 2008
Company has plans to make Clatskanie plant greener, friendlier to renewable energy
Citing a growth in wind energy resources, Portland General Electric is changing the scope of its Port Westward project in Clatskanie.
Now, instead of adding another standard, combined-cycle turbine to the power plant as the original plans called for, PGE proposes creating a more flexible type of power plant - one that would meet the area's increasing demand for renewable energy.
The new addition would make the Port Westward plant "a highly efficient and environmentally responsible plant designed for maximum flexibility," said Elaina Medina, PGE spokeswoman. "It will help meet a growing need for flexibility as more renewable energy, like wind, comes online in the Northwest and PGE access to Columbia River hydroelectric power is reduced."
To do that, PGE must change the design of the power plant addition and install a flexible turbine that would run on natural gas or distillate fuel.
PGE built a $287 million, 400-megawatt, natural gas-fired power plant at the Port Westward site in July of 2007. The original site certificate, authorized by the Oregon Department of Energy, allowed PGE to build a second turbine at the site, to be built in a separate phase from the first 400-megawatt unit.
Now that it plans to build a different type of power plant to better use alternative and renewable energy sources, PGE has applied for an amendment to its original Port Westward site certificate.
If approved, PGE would hire about 100 employees to help build the new plant addition, which would be completed by May of 2011.
The construction of "unit two" at Port Westward hinges on the ODOE approval as well as PGE's Integrated Resource Plan, which calls for 1,300 megawatts of new capacity to meet increased customer needs.
Medina said PGE will submit the second phase of its Port Westward project as part of this Integrated Resource Plan, but will only go through with construction on unit two if the power plant addition is selected from a competitive pool of projects to be included in that overall expansion plan.
The ODOE is still taking comments on PGE's proposal to amend its Port Westward site certificate.
To learn more about the proposal, visit www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/SITING/announce. shtml. Written comments are due to ODOE by Wednesday, Dec. 24.
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