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Climate Change & PGE
Climate Change & PGE
PGE is making a difference as we pursue a cleaner energy future.
Climate Change & PGE

PGE customers tell us they are concerned about the environment and climate change. They also want reliable, reasonably priced electricity. We have a responsibility to balance all of these issues as we look for new solutions to meet the growing demand for power. PGE is working on a number of fronts to combat climate change and introduce cleaner energy options.

Learn how PGE is working to reduce greenhouse gases:
Advocating state and federal legislation
PGE is working at the state, regional and national levels toward policies that will help us meet Oregon’s energy needs in an increasingly sustainable way:
  • PGE is advocating for energy and environmental policies that facilitate meaningful greenhouse gas reductions, while maximizing opportunities to manage costs for our customers. We think it’s critical that these policies be enacted in a responsible manner that does not put Oregon and our customers at an economic disadvantage relative to other states.
  • In 2007, PGE successfully advocated for state legislation that allows us to do more to help customers access energy-efficiency programs. Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to curb greenhouse gases.
  • PGE supported passage of Oregon’s 2007 law that mandates 25 percent of Oregon energy come from renewable sources by 2025.

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Increasing renewable resources
Expanding Oregon wind power
PGE has long-term contracts to purchase 25 megawatts of power from Vansycle Ridge and 75 megawatts from Klondike II. PGE’s Biglow Canyon Wind Farm has the capacity to produce 450 megawatts, making it one of the region’s largest wind power projects. All three of these wind farms are within Oregon.

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Making “green” hydropower
Both the PGE Pelton Round Butte hydro project and the Sullivan Plant now generate green power, having passed a rigorous certification process to demonstrate minimum impact on fish and wildlife. Only 33 U.S. hydro plants have earned this designation.

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Supporting solar power development
PGE is exploring different ways to encourage the development and adoption of solar power. PGE is crafting partnerships to facilitate more solar electric installations.

We are also supporting growth of the alternative energy industry in the Portland area, in part by recruiting solar manufacturers here.

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Promoting renewable options
Since 2001, customers enrolled in our Renewable Power Options have kept more than 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of taking more than 92,000 cars off the road. In fact, PGE’s renewable power program is ranked No. 1 in the nation by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Labratory for the number of renewable power customers. In 2010, this earned PGE recognition from the DOE as the Utility Green Power Program of the Year Award for leadership in implementing a voluntary renewable energy offering for thier customers.

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Encouraging energy efficiency
Energy-efficiency programs provide an easy, low-cost way to reduce emissions. Our newsletters and Web site provide a wealth of energy saving information for both residential and business customers. In 2007, we successfully advocated for state legislation that allows us to do more to help customers access energy-efficiency programs administered by Energy Trust of Oregon. In fact, almost 4.5 percent of our gross revenues go toward energy-efficiency programs for our customers at the Energy Trust. And our latest integrated resource plan anticipates that nearly half of the increased load demand will be met through energy-efficiency efforts.

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Supporting new technologies
PGE supports the research and development of new technologies aimed at combating climate change. Some of the things we’re looking into include:
  • Electric infrastructure access in support of plugged electric and hybrid vehicles. Learn about this in our section on Plug-in Charging Stations.
  • Wave energy demonstration project by Oregon State University
  • Carbon-capture projects for generation plants using new technologies and algae (PDF)

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Adopting green business practices
In our daily operations, PGE has sought out opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint:
  • PGE is introducing wireless smart meters, which will eliminate 1.2 million miles of driving, save 80,000 gallons of gasoline and reduce CO2 emissions by 1.5 million pounds every year.
  • In 2007, we introduced our first hybrid bucket truck, and we use B5 biodiesel in 400 utility vehicles in our fleet.
  • PGE is reducing truck idling time at our line centers and implementing a new fleet fuel management system.

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Supporting local sustainable initiatives
Through our community contributions, we encourage sustainable initiatives that reduce the impact on the environment and help cut greenhouse gases:
  • We support Friends of Trees, SOLV, Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation and other organizations that plant trees.
  • PGE purchases carbon offsets equal to make the PGE/SOLV Starlight Parade a carbon-neutral event. We also supply renewable wind energy for the Rose Festival Waterfront Village and The Bite of Oregon.

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