New sources of power and jobs for Oregonians
PGE helped develop Oregon’s Renewable Energy Standard, signed into law by Gov. Kulongoski in 2007. This landmark legislation sets a “25 by 25” benchmark, requiring Oregon’s largest utilities to acquire 25 percent of their electricity from new, renewable energy sources by 2025. Our Integrated Resource Plan calls for an increasing reliance on wind and other renewables and a greater focus on energy efficiency and clean technology projects to make current sources, such as hydroelectric, even more sustainable.
Learn more about PGE’s renewable energy leadership in the following areas:
The strength of wind
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Our Clean WindSM and Green SourceSM renewable power programs consistently rank first in the nation, offering customers the option to buy some or all of their power from renewable resources. Both rely largely on wind power, including electricity generated from Biglow Canyon Wind Farm. The first wind farm wholly owned and operated by PGE, Biglow Canyon is one of the region’s largest wind power projects. Completed in 2010, Biglow has a total installed capacity of 450 megawatts.
Solar hot spot
Home to solar manufacturers Solaicx, SolarWorld and Sanyo, Oregon has developed a reputation as a hot spot for the emerging renewable energy industry. PGE continues to work closely with state and regional representatives to assist additional businesses interested in locating or expanding in Oregon.
Pioneering solar projects
PGE is helping to grow solar energy in Oregon in a variety of ways, including recruiting solar manufacturers to locate here and creating partnerships to implement solar electric installations. Here are a few of PGE’s pioneering solar projects:
Nation’s first solar highway
PGE, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation, developed the nation’s first solar highway — the Oregon Solar Highway Demonstration Project — at the Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 interchange in Tualatin. The $1.3 million project came online in December 2008 and is an all-Oregon project built by Oregon companies.
Baldock Solar Highway Project
In January 2012, PGE and the Oregon Department of Transportation brought their second joint solar highway project online — the largest in the nation! The 1.75-megawatt solar array is made up of 6,994 panels and produces about 1.97 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually. The project features a solar energy interpretive display, edged by a sustainable community garden. It is an all-Oregon project built by Oregon companies.
Yamhill and Bellevue Projects
PGE customers also are receiving renewable energy from EDP’s (formerly enXco) Yamhill and Bellevue Solar Projects in Oregon’s Yamhill County. Completed in fall 2011, the two thin-film solar photovoltaic installations cover about 23 acres and have a combined generating capacity of 2.84 MW – enough to power about 2,300 homes. Individually, they are the second-and third-largest solar facilities now operating in Oregon and will help serve PGE customers for 25 years.
Northwest’s largest rooftop installation
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PGE, ProLogis and other partners rolled out a 2.4 megawatt rooftop solar project in 2010, the largest solar project in the Pacific Northwest. The project adds to a 2009 ProLogis rooftop solar project, bringing PGE’s total partnership with ProLogis to 3.5 megawatts of solar energy, enough to power about 388 households annually. The project was also funded in part by PGE Clean Wind renewable power customers.
Plugging in to electric vehicles
PGE is helping Oregon be a national leader in electric transportation — the Portland metro area ranks first for the number of non-residential electric vehicle charging stations per capita*.
Additionally, auto manufacturers Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.
chose Oregon and PGE as partners in launching zero-emissions vehicles and developing an electric-vehicle charging
network to promote their use.
* CleanEdge’s 2012 U.S. Metro Clean Tech Index
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Biomass generation technologies use plants and organic matter to generate electricity. These resources may be burned directly or converted into another fuel before being used. PGE’s renewable products use only two sources of biomass: wood and landfill gas; they do not include electricity derived from burning municipal solid waste.
As a leader in smart grid development, PGE has rolled out about 825,000 smart meters and is working on projects that will bring smart grid benefits to our customers, including:
Starting in 2012, PGE customers can access detailed information about how their individual homes and businesses use energy and get practical advice on how to save money on their energy bills.
The Salem Smart Power pilot
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About 500 homes and businesses in Southeast Salem will soon get their electricity from one of the most reliable, advanced electricity systems in the nation. The project will utilize remote-operated power-line switches, energy storage, demand response, dispatchable standby generation, and solar generation to create a “micro-grid” — an area able to generate, store and sustain its own power for optimal reliability.
PGE is also exploring technologies of the future with cutting edge experiments to insure that Oregon is home to clean technology and creating jobs in Oregon.
On the Cal-Gon dairy farm in Salem, PGE operates a facility that converts more than 20 tons of cow manure into energy each day. Manure enters a digester where it releases methane gas, which fires a generator on the farm, feeding up to 70 kilowatts of renewable electricity directly to PGE customers. Leftover materials are processed into relatively odor-free fibers and liquids that can be used for nursery or farm soil applications. PGE hopes this system will eventually be cost-competitive with other renewable resources like wind turbines and solar power.
PGE is exploring the potential to use biomass as an alternative fuel to replace coal at the Boardman Power Plant in Eastern Oregon. If this conversion proves to be practical, the Boardman Plant could become the largest biomass-fueled generating facility in the United States and the nation’s largest single "baseload" renewable power plant. Baseload generators can be counted on to produce power all day, every day. The output from most large-scale renewable energy facilities is highly variable, depending on wind conditions or sunlight.
PGE is working with agricultural extension services from Oregon State University, Washington State University and the University of Washington to see if local, suitable, fast-growing energy crops that would be economically attractive to growers could be cultivated to augment other available biomass sources.
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PGE is helping to fund research through Oregon State University to determine how the power of waves can be harnessed for electricity in a way that minimizes any disruption to coastal habitats and fishing industries. PGE is keeping close tabs on this and other new technologies.