Exciting news in the renewable energy field. Oregon’s largest utility, Portland General Electric announced this week that it is shutting down the state’s only coal plant 20 years ahead of schedule. By 2020, the lights will officially go off at the PGE Boardman, Oregon plant.
The original plan for the coal plant was to invest $500,000,000 in pollution control measures required by state and federal environmental laws, and then operate until 2040. Now, a fraction of that investment will be made ($45 million) because operations will only continue until 2020.
Why the change of course, you may ask?
The utility stated that an earlier sundowning is the best financial decision for its shareholders and ratepayers. Specifically, the original plan only would have addressed “haze-causing pollution,” which does not solve the CO2 emissions issues, while risking prohibitively expensive electricity generation when and if Congress implements cap and trade.
Portland’s Mayor and many other groups (yours truly included) are excited about the switch away from dirty power.
Yet, I just have to wonder… where are the “clean coal” folks to counter PGE’s decision?