Fuel Source & Environmental Impact

Supply Mix for Time of Use

Pacific Power has bought or plans to buy power or unique claims on the electricity produced from these types of power plants. The portion supplied by Pacific Power is based on recent utility production and purchases. (May not add up to 100 percent, due to rounding.)

  • Coal: 62.97%
  • Hydro: 8.30%
  • Natural Gas: 14.72%
  • Biomass: 1.10%
  • Wind: 3.61%
  • Geothermal: 0.35%
  • Other: 9.40%

Pacific Power may save the environmental attributes (renewable energy credits or green tags) associated wiht the eligible renewable energy (wind, biomass and some hydro) in our Basic Service resource mix to comply with Oregon's Renewable Portfolio Standard beginning in 2011. More information »

The following fuel supply definitions are intended to help understand how electricity is generated from the preceding fuel sources.

  • Biomass Generation is from burning solid organic fuels from wood, forest or field residue, or dedicated energy crops.
  • Coal Generation uses coal as the primary fuel source.
  • Geothermal Generation comes from thermal energy naturally produced within the earth.
  • Hydroelectric Generation is created when water flows from a higher elevation to a lower elevation, and the flow is converted to electricity.
  • Landfill Gas uses waste gases from the decomposition of organic materials to produce electricity.
  • Natural Gas Generation uses natural gas as the primary fuel source. 
  • Nuclear Generation uses a controlled atomic chain reaction to produce heat. The heat is used to make steam that then runs conventional turbine generators.
  • Petroleum Generation burns oil as a primary fuel source.
  • Solar Generation uses heat from the sun.
  • Wind Generation is created by movement of air to turn wind turbines.

Environmental Impact for Time of Use

The amount of pollutants per kilowatt-hour of the supply mix, compared to the Northwest U.S. average.

  • Nuclear Wastes: 0%
  • Carbon Dioxide: 209.6%
  • Nitrogen Oxides: 224.8%
  • Sulfur Dioxide: 254.3%

The Oregon Office of Energy has provided the following information on Environmental Impacts.

Carbon Dioxide is a major contributor to global climate change. Among the likely impacts for Oregon are less mountain snowpack and less water available in summer, higher sea levels, and threats to forests, crops, and fish and wildlife habitat. Coal and natural gas are the main sources of carbon dioxide from power generation. 

Nitrogen Oxide and Sulfur Dioxide are air pollutants that affect human health, plants, fish and wildlife. Nitrogen oxides contribute to smog. Coal is the main source of these pollutants from power generation. Natural gas plants produce nitrogen oxides.

Some Hydropower Dams contribute to the decline of salmon and other fish and wildlife populations.