Natural-gas-fired Plant Proposed for
by Ted Sickinger
An energy developer based in New York wants to build two natural-gas-fired power plants -- with the option for a third -- on the site of the old Reynolds Aluminum plant in Troutdale.
The site is about a mile from the boundary of the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, and the potential impact of the plants' emissions on air quality in the gorge is sure to make the proposal controversial.
The Troutdale Energy Center will compete with other proposals to satisfy energy needs of Portland General Electric's 800,000 customers. Its backers say the plant will not only meet emissions limits, but eliminate the need for expensive transmission upgrades that ratepayers would otherwise be stuck paying for.
PGE is looking to fill some big holes in its generation portfolio. Among other things, the utility's latest resource plan calls for a new baseload gas plant to meet day-to-day demand, as well as a flexible unit that could be cycled up and down to meet peak demand or back up the intermittent output of wind farms in the gorge.
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