2020 framework allows time to develop replacement resources
PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission today approved new rules
that allow the Boardman Power Plant, southwest of Boardman, Ore. to meet
state and federal environmental requirements with emission control
retrofits for sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen over the next ten
years and the cessation of coal-fired operations no later than December
31, 2020. The Boardman Plant is operated by Portland General Electric
"These are tough new rules that put Oregon at the forefront of national
efforts to reduce emissions from coal-fired power generation," said Jim
Piro, PGE president and CEO. "We've worked hard with a broad coalition
of Oregon citizens and organizations to gain public support and
regulatory approval for an environmentally responsible, workable,
cost-effective emissions control strategy and timeline for the Boardman
Plant. Implementing these rules won't be easy or inexpensive, but it
strikes a good balance of costs and benefits for our state and our
The new controls are expected to reduce NOX emissions by
about 50 percent and permitted levels of SO2 emissions by 75
percent. A separate set of rules also requires controls to reduce the
plant's mercury emissions by 90 percent. All coal-related emissions from
the Boardman facility will be reduced to zero with the end of coal-fired
operations in 2020. The combined capital cost of the required controls
is currently estimated at about $60 million.
The new rules were recommended by staff at the Oregon Department of
Environmental Quality, following an extensive public process with two
formal comment periods and seven public hearings. The agency also
convened a fiscal advisory committee last summer to review the economic
impact of various control options. The new rules will be implemented
with the following measures:
Installation of new low-NOX burners and modified overfire
air ports in July 2011 to comply with Best Available Retrofit
Technology (BART) standards for oxides of nitrogen.
Installation of a dry sorbent injection system in July 2014 to comply
with BART standards for sulfur dioxide.
Pilot studies for the DSI system to verify that set SO2
limits for 2014 and 2018 are achievable.
Repeal of DEQ's 2009 BART rule, which would have allowed continued
operation of the Boardman Plant through at least 2040 with
installation of a much more expensive suite of emissions controls.
Permanent cessation of coal-fired operation no later than December 31,
DEQ will now incorporate the EQC decision into its state implementation
plan for regional haze, which will be forwarded to the federal
Environmental Protection Agency for approval.
As operator and majority owner of the plant, PGE will proceed with
acquisition and installation of the necessary controls, beginning with
the low-NOx burners and mercury controls in July 2011. The company will
also engage stakeholders in a comprehensive analysis of potential
options to replace the power from the Boardman Plant — or convert the
existing plant to a different fuel — as part of its next integrated
resource planning cycle.
Adoption of the new rules completes a process that began when PGE
volunteered in 2006 to have the Boardman Plant to be the first Oregon
facility evaluated under BART guidelines. The utility then submitted an
initial analysis and control plan to DEQ in 2007. After DEQ adopted its
first BART rule in 2009, PGE incorporated the rule's emissions control
requirements into the company's long-term resource plan, but also
responded to stakeholder requests for further analysis of an alternative
strategy based on a 2020 timeline.
In January 2010, PGE announced that it would pursue a 2020 alternative
and then in April submitted an initial 2020 plan to DEQ. The company
also modified its integrated resource plan as submitted to the Oregon
Public Utility Commission. PGE then updated and strengthened the 2020
plan in August and October, incorporating new technologies and further
tightening proposed emissions and operational restrictions to address
concerns of regulators and stakeholders.
The OPUC acknowledged the revised 2020 plan in November, noting that
earlier closure dates would not allow enough time for the company to
secure reliable replacement power.
PGE owns 65 percent of the Boardman Plant. Co-owners include Bank of
America Leasing LLC, with 15 percent, Idaho Power, with 10 percent, and
Power Resources Cooperative, with 10 percent.
About Portland General Electric Company
Portland General Electric Company is a vertically integrated electric
utility that serves approximately 822,000 residential, commercial and
industrial customers in the Portland/Salem metropolitan area of Oregon.
The Company's headquarters are located at 121 SW Salmon Street,
Portland, Oregon 97204. Visit our website at www.PortlandGeneral.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements in this news release that relate to future plans, objectives,
expectations, performance, events and the like may constitute
"forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities
Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include statements
regarding the future operation of the Boardman Power Plant, statements
regarding expected emissions reductions in the future, statements
regarding estimated costs of emissions controls, as well as other
statements containing words such as "anticipates," "believes,"
"intends," "estimates," "will," "promises," "expects," "should,"
"conditioned upon," and similar expressions. Investors are cautioned
that any such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and
uncertainties, including those relating to final regulatory review by
the Environmental Protection Agency and the installation, cost and
effectiveness of future emissions controls. As a result, actual results
may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking
statements. All forward-looking statements included in this news release
are based on information available to the Company on the date hereof and
such statements speak only as of the date hereof. The Company assumes no
obligation to update any such forward-looking statement. Prospective
investors should also review the risks and uncertainties listed in the
Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and the Company's
reports on Forms 8-K and 10-Q filed with the United States Securities
and Exchange Commission, including Management's Discussion and Analysis
of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and the risks described
therein from time to time.
Source: Portland General Electric Company
Steve Corson, 503-464-8444
Source: Portland General Electric Company
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