PGE files smart grid plan with Oregon regulator 23 NOVEMBER 2016

US utility firm, Portland General Electric (PGE) filed its proposal with the Oregon Public Utility Commission to implement its smart grid projects.

The smart grid project proposal entitled, ‘2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)’ is in line with mandates set by the state’s energy regulator calling for utilities to increase their demand-side management and renewable energy portfolios to ensure grid reliabilities.

The Oregon Public Utility Commission has set a target for utilities in Oregon to ensure the state generates 20% of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Jim Piro, CEO of PGE, said: “This plan affirms our commitment to meet our customers’ need for safe, reliable, affordable energy using increasingly sustainable solutions.”

In its proposal, PGE is planning to achieve 77MW of energy capacity from demand response initiatives.

The utility firm said it will use the demand response programmes to meet growing peak demands and ensure its consumers reduce energy costs by avoiding heavy use of electricity during peak periods.

The IRP includes energy conservation measures to be deployed by PGE to ensure it avoids the use of 135MW of energy capacity through implementation of energy efficiency initiatives.

In addition to the demand-side management programmes, PGE plans to integrate into its grid network, some 175MW of energy generated from new renewable energy generation sources by 2020.

The energy company said it will ensure it generates 27% of its total capacity from renewable energy by 2025.

The utility will make use of tax credits to fund the implementation of projects within its IRP.

The proposal will be reviewed by the Oregon Public Service Commission within the next six months, reported a local publication.

Smart grid project proposals

In early August, Minnesota-based utility holding company Xcel Energy filed approval with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to build a $562 million advanced grid project.

The approval from the Public Utilities Commission will give Xcel Energy the ability to monitor and control its distribution system.The smart grid project proposal includes the rollout of smart meters and support systems which are expected to improve reliability, provide for better integration of rooftop solar, and give customers more information about how they use energy.

Xcel said in its filing to the Commission that the new system will make new rate structures possible, however, has not yet proposed a cost recovery mechanism for the meters.

The utility said that currently, it has the ability to read meters automatically, but that those meters cannot send the voltage and power quality data needed for near real-time monitoring and automation. [Hawaiian Electric submits smart grid proposal for PUC review].

David Eves, president of Xcel Energy-Colorado, said: “Our customers are becoming increasingly interested in new technologies, such as advanced home applications, battery storage, private solar and electric vehicles.”

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