Now, instead of adding another standard, combined-cycle turbine to the power plant as the original plans called for, PGE proposes creating a more flexible type of power plant – one that would meet the area’s increasing demand for renewable energy.
The new addition would make the Port Westward plant “a highly efficient and environmentally responsible plant designed for maximum flexibility,” said Elaina Medina, PGE spokeswoman. “It will help meet a growing need for flexibility as more renewable energy, like wind, comes online in the Northwest and PGE access to Columbia River hydroelectric power is reduced.”
To do that, PGE must change the design of the power plant addition and install a flexible turbine that would run on natural gas or distillate fuel.
PGE built a $287 million, 400-megawatt, natural gas-fired power plant at the Port Westward site in July of 2007. The original site certificate, authorized by the Oregon Department of Energy, allowed PGE to build a second turbine at the site, to be built in a separate phase from the first 400-megawatt unit.