Portland General Electric on Thursday announced it has closed its eastern Oregon coal-fired power plant 20 years ahead of schedule as the utility pushes to use more sustainable forms of energy.
The closure of the Boardman plant comes as the result of an agreement between the utility, consumers and regulators reached in 2010 to curb air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions in the state. In exchange for closing the plant, the utility was allowed to make smaller investments in pollution controls.
The Morrow County plant, which opened in 1977, is the youngest U.S. coal plant closed for environmental reasons, the utility said when the agreement was reached.
“Our customers are counting on us to deliver a clean energy future,” Maria Pope, president and CEO of the utility, said in a statement. “PGE’s Boardman closure is a major step on our path to meeting Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and transforming our system to reliably serve our customers with a cleaner, more sustainable energy mix.”
The utility said the closure had been factored into long-term plans so power shortages aren’t a risk. To replace the power generated there, Portland General Electric would make use of short-term contracts with the Bonneville Power Administration and other independent producers.
The utility is also building a $160 million renewable energy facility in Morrow County that will host wind, solar and battery storage.
— Kale Williams; firstname.lastname@example.org; 503-294-4048; @sfkale
Read More: Portland General Electric to close only coal-fired power plant in Oregon