OPUC Declines to Investigate PGE’s Competitive Bidding Process

On September 20, 2013, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) declined to open a declaratory ruling proceeding or other investigation into Portland General Electric Company’s (PGE) competitive bidding processes.  PGE conducted a controversial request for proposals (RFP) process in which PGE selected its own resources as the winning bids over the bids by independent third party power producers.  PGE selected three of its own plants: 1) the Tucannon wind project with a 267 maximum megawatt (MW) capacity located in Columbia County, Washington; 2) the 440 MW capacity Carty natural gas generation facility near the company’s existing Boardman plant; and 3) the 220 MW capacity Port Westward II natural gas plant that will be adjacent to PGE’s existing Port Westward I natural gas plant.

PGE filed proposed RFPs with the Oregon Commission in early 2011 seeking to acquire wind, baseload, and capacity generation resources.  The proposed RFPs were challenged by consumer advocates and independent power producers, which resulted in the Oregon Commission issuing two orders.  These orders caused PGE to revise its bidding proposal, including making its Port Westward site available to third party bidders, requiring more detailed bid scoring information be provided, and combining the energy and capacity RFPs.  PGE was not required to make a number of other changes, and so was not required to: 1) make its gas storage available to third party bidders; 2) change how it allocated transmission costs; or 3) assist developers in making dynamic transfer or other transmission services.

PGE issued the RFPs to the public, and PGE’s selection of its own resources as the winning bids was challenged by three independent power producer bidders: Calpine, Troutdale Energy Center, and Grays Harbor.  PGE’s industrial customers also supported conducting an investigation.  Some key concerns raised included transmission access and pricing, the method of evaluating the bids, and the fairness of the process.

All three commissioners agreed that further proceedings were not warranted, concluding that there was no evidence that the process was not fair.  PGE is progressing with the construction of the facilities that are expected to be operating in 2015 and 2016.


The OPUC Competitive Bidding Final Order is HERE

A copy of an Oregonian News Article (September 2013) is HERE

A copy of an Oregonian News Article (October 2010) is HERE




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