Oregon Clean Electricity & Coal Transition Law

Law protects customers, reliability and the environment

Components of clean energy law approved by the Oregon Legislature include:

Landscape
  • Energy provided to Pacific Power customers in Oregon will be coal-free by 2030.
  • Increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50 percent in 2040. This increase is staged at 27 percent in 2025, 35 percent in 2030, 45 percent in 2035 and 50 percent in 2040. Customer protections in the existing RPS law are maintained. The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) may also temporarily suspend the requirement for an energy company if meeting the RPS would conflict with power grid reliability.
  • Continues to protect Pacific Power customers with the state’s 4 percent incremental cost cap, which means that energy companies are not required to add renewables to their portfolio if the incremental cost to customers is more than 4 percent higher than the cost of developing nonrenewable resources. The law also protects customers from post-2030 costs, ensuring costs associated with coal transition are fair for customers.
  • Changes Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) life to five years. From bill passage until the end of 2022, RECs generated from new, long-term renewable projects in those first five years would have unlimited life, creating an incentive for Oregon’s two largest energy companies to take early action on meeting the RPS. The existing REC banks would maintain their unlimited REC life.
  • Creates a community solar program for Oregon, allowing residential and small commercial customers of Pacific Power to participate in the ownership of off-site solar projects that would be credited to their energy bill. It also directs the PUC to ensure that at least 10 percent of the overall community solar program capacity be provided to low-income customers.
  • Encourages moving to greater reliance on electricity in all modes of transportation to reduce carbon emissions. Pacific Power can submit plans to the PUC that include deployment of charging stations and related electric vehicle infrastructure. The PUC would determine if the investments were prudent.
  • Recognizes Oregon’s leadership in cost-effective energy efficiency and demand response programs that reduce overall energy usage, and supports Pacific Power plans to take advantage of all cost-effective energy efficiency and cost-effective demand-response resources authorized by the PUC prior to developing new generating resources.
  • Protects investor-owned energy companies, rural electric cooperative and people’s utility district customers from cost shifting that could occur due to hostile service territory acquisitions meant to bypass Oregon’s renewable energy standards. Protects municipal electric utilities from a higher RPS obligation, when their service territory grows through annexation.
  • Adds a new requirement that the state’s investor-owned energy companies acquire more energy from small, community-scale renewable projects such as local wind, solar, small hydro, biomass and geothermal resources.
  • Creates new eligibility for pre-1995 biomass plants and associated thermal co-generation for meeting the RPS requirements immediately. Current law does not recognize eligibility for pre-1995 biomass until 2026.