As we work toward Oregon’s clean energy future, we’re strengthening the energy grid to make it smarter, more efficient and more reliable for you. Among our many projects, we are decommissioning the Stephens Substation.
PGE recently installed the new Marquam Substation in SW Portland and will be making upgrades to the Harrison Substation in SE Portland as part of our multiyear plan to enhance the energy grid. Because of this work, we’re decommissioning Stephens Substation, near OMSI, and several other aging substations.
We are working with multiple regulatory organizations, including the City of Portland and Oregon Public Utilities Commission to decide how the Stephens Substation property will be used once the equipment has been removed.
- Early 2020 through late fall 2020
- Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
This schedule may change based on the needs of the project. Weekend and night hours may be required at times.
What can you expect during this work?
You will see PGE crews and certified contractors who specialize in decommissioning electrical substations, removing structures and disposing of materials. They will be following the safest practices when performing this work. We will also be recycling and repurposing equipment and materials whenever possible.
We’re taking steps to ensure your safety. Here’s how you can help
- Watch for temporary lane or street closures and detours. Allow for extra time for commuting through these areas.
- Follow directions from any flaggers, detours and signs used to keep drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and workers safe.
- Watch for “no parking” signs. To keep pedestrians and vehicles safe, we will reserve street parking to make room for equipment and create a safety buffer around our work area.
- Please avoid all work areas and equipment, and make sure children know to never touch the equipment.
Building a brighter energy future for you
This work boost reliability to reduce the risk of outages, keep pace with the growth in our region and help improve overall system operations for all customers. This is just one of many projects we’re working on to enhance and modernize the energy grid, making it smarter and more resilient, and creating a platform for a clean energy future.
Thank you for your patience as we strengthen the energy grid.
For more information about this project, please contact us at 503-612-3730.
Para información en español, por favor llame 503-612-3730.
Frequently asked questions
Why are we decommissioning the Stephens Substation?
It’s no longer needed, and the equipment there has reached the end of its useful life.
We’ve been planning to decommission the Stephens Substation for years as part of our multiyear efforts to boost reliability and reduce the risk of outages in the region. Prior to this, we’ve added the new Marquam Substation on the westside and made upgrades to the nearby Harrison Substation on the eastside. In addition to serving the Max and cyclists in the metro area, the new Tilikum Bridge also serves as a vital connection line across the river for electric service.
As a result of these changes, we’re decommissioning Stephens and other aging substations in our service area as we modernize the energy grid, making it smarter and more resilient, and creating a platform for Oregon’s clean energy future.
What are we doing with the property after it is decommissioned? What permits are needed to perform this work?
We are going through a public process with multiple regulatory agencies, including the City of Portland and Oregon Public Utilities Commission to determine the future use of the property.
Through this process, we learned from the City of Portland that we do not need a permit to remove the substation’s walls and equipment.
However, we also learned that we need to complete a thorough analysis of the substation control building, as it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After many years of industrial service, technology and equipment improvements have outgrown the substation control building’s capabilities. PGE will need to evaluate appropriate options for future use of the structure in line with the City of Portland’s Development Code. We are considering the options outlined by the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services and the City of Portland Landmarks Commission, as well as requirements for any building permits.
Once a decision on the property’s future development has been made, we will share that information with the public.
Is PGE planning to decommission additional substations
Yes. As part of PGE’s multiyear Southeast Reliability Project, plans are underway to decommission the Lents and Hogan North Substations as the equipment and technology is nearing the end of its useful working life. These substations will no longer be needed because we’re upgrading other substations in the area to assure reliable service to customers. This work is part of PGE’s efforts to modernize the energy grid, making it smarter and more resilient – creating a platform for Oregon’s clean energy future.
Substation decommissioning and upgrade plans will be announced as they are finalized.
Is this project per the request of the OMSI master redevelopment
No. This is part of our multiyear grid modernization and reliability efforts, which started with the construction and completion of the Marquam Substation in 2019 – after many years of system planning, design and permitting work.
What public process did you undertake to perform the historical/cultural survey?
Based on the survey PGE completed, we requested a pre-application conference with the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services for their consideration of our proposal to decommission the substation building. For more details, please review our Pre-Application Conference Request.
Once PGE has decided how to use the property going forward, we will complete any tasks required by the State Historic Preservation Office and the City of Portland. As a part of the filing process, public comment will be allowed regarding future actions with the State Historic Preservation Office, the City of Portland Landmarks Commission and the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services.
How will you handle waste materials? Can you recycle any of these materials?
You will see PGE crews and certified contractors who specialize in decommissioning electrical substations, removing structures and performing site cleanup performing this work. Health and safety are our number one priority. Site building materials and natural materials will be rigorously tested for potential hazards and disposed of appropriately. We will be recycling or repurposing electrical equipment and materials when possible. You may see temporary fencing and sidewalk and street closures during various project phases to maintain a safe zone around the project site.