Portland General Electric Co. (PGE) said Thursday that a utility owned and operated option has won the bidding to develop a 220 MW natural gas-fired peaking generation facility to be located adjacent to baseload gas-fired electric generation plants operated by PGE northwest of the Portland metropolitan area.

PGE’s Port Westward Unit 2 flexible generating resource slated for a site near Clatskanie, OR, was selected as the successful bidder in a request for proposal (RFP) launched by the electric utility in 2011 to help provide more system stability in the years ahead. The bidding was overseen by an independent third-party evaluator reporting to the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC).

Port Westward Unit 2 was PGE’s benchmark proposal in the competitive bidding process that sought up to 200 MW of flexible peaking capacity among other types of added generation.

“The RFP was conducted pursuant to competitive bidding guidelines established by the PUC, using objective scoring criteria intended to identify projects that will provide the best balance of cost and risk while meeting PGE customers’ needs for reliable, affordable electric power,” said a PGE spokesperson.

PGE noted that the RFP also sought 300-500 MW of baseload energy resources as well as seasonal capacity resources, and the utility has now completed its evaluation of those bids and negotiations on new contracts for projects and purchased power will begin soon from a final short-list of projects. The third-party evaluator will monitor the negotiations for projects involving gas-fired and other generation sources.

Port Westward Unit 2 will use reciprocating engine gensets supplied by Wartsila. Black & Veatch and Oregon-based Harder Mechanical on a joint venture basis will build the turnkey project that will become part of the PGE utility fleet.

This additional peaking facility will be located adjacent to PGE’s gas-fired Port Westward and Beaver plants in Columbia County. The construction project will create up to 200 jobs and is expected to cost up to $310 million, excluding the allowance for funds used during construction.

PGE CEO Jim Piro called the new peaking plant a “versatile resource” needed to meet current and future customer needs. He characterized the new plant as both “highly efficient and environmentally responsible,” designed to meet real-time fluctuations in demand and integrate with increased use of variable renewable resources for power such as wind.

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