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  • Gabe Kwok

EER Study Supports PGE's 2023 CEP/IRP

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

Portland General Electric (PGE) recently filed its combined Clean Energy Plan (CEP) and Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). To support this effort, PGE retained EER to undertake an independent analysis evaluating pathways to achieve Oregon's keynote environmental policies limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: (1) HB 2021, which establishes emissions reduction targets for PGE’s electricity mix; and (2) the Climate Protection Program (CPP), which limits emissions associated with fossil fuel use in buildings, industry and transportation. This analysis updates a previous study EER completed for PGE in 2018.

EER expanded its modeling approach for the new analysis, including a detailed representation of PGE’s distribution system that allows for a better understanding of the impacts from customer-sited solar and storage, end-use electrification and flexible load. Key findings from the new analysis:

  • Meeting the state’s policy targets requires sustained deployment of wind, solar and storage resources at a pace far exceeding historical investment levels. The least-cost, carbon-free electricity portfolio expands beyond wind in the Columbia River Gorge to resources in Montana and offshore, while solar accounts for nearly one-third of all supply.

  • PGE's existing gas resources are an economic option to support resource adequacy even as emission limits become more stringent over time. Although HB 2021 prevents the construction of new thermal resources that burn natural gas, expanding the size of dispatchable capacity with turbines that utilize 100% renewable electricity-derived hydrogen reduces the cost of meeting the target.

  • Aggressive building and transportation electrification are expected to be a core compliance strategy to address CPP emission requirements. As a result, total load is expected to exceed current long-term projections, while PGE’s current dual summer-winter system peak is likely to shift to a distinctly winter peak.

  • Resources located on the distribution system – including solar and storage, heat pumps and electric vehicles – support PGE’s compliance with HB 2021 and the CPP. In the near-term, the primary benefit is from shifting load to align with renewable production profiles, which provides a low-cost source of flexibility. In the long-term, deferring electric distribution costs associated with electrification provides substantial economic benefits, and the ability to manage charging from electric vehicles represents the largest opportunity.

Download the full technical report at:

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