Portland General Electric proposes voluntary green tariff for munis, large customers

Dive Brief:

  • Portland General Electric has proposed a voluntary green tariff that would be available to large business and municipal customers, allowing them to purchase renewable power directly from new solar, wind or other renewable energy facilities.
  • The proposal has the support of a half dozen mayors from PGE’s service territory, in particular because it would give a boost to local resources and job growth. 
  • PGE in 2016 told the Oregon Public Utilities Commission that it would not be filing a green tariff, but since then “circumstances have changed.” The utility said it has heard from customers seeking options to support new, local renewable energy. 

Dive Insight:

More utilities are eyeing green tariffs satisfy a growing demand among large power customers for clean energy. PGE is the latest of these, following in the footsteps of NV Energy and Duke. This proposal will benefit munis as well, which could help cities meet green goals. 

Portland General said it has designed the program to deliver power to participating large customers at a price that “reflects the actual cost of producing and delivering the energy from a specific facility,” and to ensure no costs would be shifted to non-participating customers.

The program will acquire bundled renewable energy and renewable energy credits for customers through power purchase agreements with specified, incremental renewable resources. PGE said the program will be “flexible enough to meet individual customer needs.” the utility is planning to acquire renewable energy through contract terms of 10 to 20 years, and to provide it to retail customers under 5, 10, 15 or 20-year enrollment options.

“We have heard from our customers that they want renewable programs to be flexible, to support additionality – adding new renewables to the grid that would not have come online otherwise – and to offer alternatives regarding resource type and location,” PGE officials said in the application.

Last year, PGE reduced its proposed $1 billion wind procurement 40% and proposed mechanisms to protect ratepayers from above market costs.

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