Pacific Power Is Using More Renewable Generation to Save Money and Make Grid Cleaner

March 20, 2017

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Operating Pacific Power’s electricity generation system more efficiently is providing cleaner energy, and reducing costs for its 750,000 customers.

Through more innovative integration of its existing power plants with the growing amount of renewable generation on the grid, Pacific Power’s ‘smarter grid’ reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 12 percent for 2016 versus the previous 5-year average. That comes out to 6 million tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking over 1.1 million passenger cars off the road for a year. Making the grid more flexible in using available renewable generation also reduced energy costs for Pacific Power customers, by nearly $50 million for the year.

“Our efforts to make our power system ‘smarter’ means making it cleaner, more efficient and more reliable,” said Stefan Bird, President and CEO of Pacific Power. “By leveraging technology to improve the way that traditional generation can follow the rise and fall of renewable energy availability, we can take full advantage of the diversity of resources, both traditional and renewables, available to serve customers. That means we can make maximum use of renewable generation when it’s available, while also improving our grid operators’ visibility and tools to maintain the reliability and dependability that customers count on.”

The amount of renewable energy capacity connected to the PacifiCorp grid increased 41 percent last year. The 2,960 megawatts of solar and wind energy generation capacity now serving customers represents 29 percent of customers’ peak energy demand and represents an important milestone towards more zero-emission generation. In 2016, nearly one-third of all PacifiCorp’s electric generation capacity was from zero-emitting plants.

“We know our customers want cleaner, dependable energy, and to keep rates low,” added Bird. “We will continue to build on this success by looking for more innovative, responsible ways we can invest in the energy future we all want.”