PGE OK'd to build flexible generating plant

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The Oregon Public Utility Commission has approved Portland General Electric's (PGE) proposal to build a 220 MW flexible generating plant.

PGE's Port Westward Unit 2 flexible generating resource will help meet customer needs and provide system reliability beginning in 2015, when the facility is expected to be online.

The plant, located near Clatskanie and adjacent to PGE's existing natural gas-fired Port Westward and Beaver plants in Columbia County will use reciprocating engine gensets and is expected to cost between $285 million and $310 million, excluding allowance for funds used during construction.

"Port Westward Unit 2 will be an important, versatile resource to meet our customers' current and future needs," said Jim Piro, PGE president and CEO. "The new natural gas plant will be a highly efficient and environmentally responsible facility designed for maximum flexibility to help meet real-time fluctuations in customer demand and integrate variable renewable resources like wind and solar into PGE's system."

It will also serve as a peaking plant during periods of high demand, he said.

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