PGE planning to seek Boardman alternative

PORTLAND -- Portland General Electric told the Oregon Public Utility Commission on Thursday that it wants to pursue an alternative operating plan to end operations at the Boardman Power Plant in 2020 or discontinue the use of coal as a fuel source, the utility said.

"Our preliminary analysis shows that an alternative plan may be the best option for our customers, and we intend to pursue that," said Jim Piro, PGE president, in a statement.

PGE submitted its most recent integrated resource plan to the Public Utility Commission on Nov. 5, 2009. It recommended installation of extensive emissions control retrofits on the Boardman plant, at an estimated cost of $520 million to$560 million.

The utility said the controls would allow continued operation of the plant in compliance with new rules from the state Environmental Quality Commission.

The company said it decided not to include a proposal in its resource plan to cease Boardman operations in 2020 because such a plan would work under the rules, PGE said in a statement.