To decrease the amount of greenhouse emissions 10% below 1990 levels, Portland General Electric (PGE) in Oregon intends to replace coal plants with 2,362 MW wind energy systems and 557 MW of simple-cycle combustion turbines burning natural gas.
The plan details have been presented in a preliminary report submitted to state regulators at the Public Utility Commission (PUC).
To cut the greenhouse emissions in half, which have added up to 7.72 million metric tons by 2005, the utility looks out for alternative solutions in the renewable energy sector. This means new investments and thus, raises in utility rates of about 13% by 2019, and 25% by 2020.
Other utilities in the state that already rely on diverse clean sources, can make a gradual transition. For example, Idaho Power has little production, carbon dioxide emissions and cost, to change, whereas PacifiCorp, with considerable more generation and emissions than PGE, estimates that could make the transition at a cost of half the rate rise.
At the moment, PacificCorp has 1,000 MW of hydro power on the grid and plans on replacing coal plants by 1,212 MW of natural gas and 1,340 MW of wind power. Cost estimates for the cleaner electricity show an average of 2% rate rise a year and an additional 19% to electric bills by 2020.
Regardless the willful determination of extractive energy industry to fight against renewable energy adoption, Oregon still plans a clean energy future to deflect the threat of climate change.