Portland General Electric
Por Portland 644c050814ef2

Portland General Lines Up Another 400MW of Battery Capacity

May 1, 2023
The utility is buying one project from Eolian and contracting with NextEra on another.

The leaders of Portland General Electric Co. have signed agreements to secure 400 megawatts of battery capacity, which they say is enough to power all of its customers’ homes in Portland for an evening.

Portland General, which last year bought a 311 MW majority stake in Montana’s large Clearwater Wind project, expects to spend $360 million to buy the 200 MW Seaside battery project in Portland from Eolian LP and will buy 20 years of another 200 MW capacity from a Troutdale, Oregon, facility owned by NextEra Energy Resources (which also is developing Clearwater).

Each project is made of lithium-ion batteries and can power about 130,000 homes for about four hours of peak demand. The Troutdale site is expected to be put into service by the end of next year while Seaside is forecast to come to market in mid-2025.

“These new, Oregon-based projects are a significant addition to our wind, solar and hydro resources—providing grid reliability, resiliency and flexibility while helping us manage costs," Maria Pope, PGE‘s president and CEO, said in a statement.

The two battery deals are likely to soon be joined by a company-owned 75 MW deal that’s in negotiations. The Seaside project will lift Portland General’s capital spending budgets for this year, 2024 and 2025 by $115 million, $180 million and $210 million, respectively, which amounts to a 19% bump over that span. Clearwater will require another $415 million this year. The investments are part of Portland General’s push to cut its greenhouse gas emissions from power served to customers by at least an 80% reduction between new and 2030 and then completely by 2040.

Word of the battery project deals came alongside Portland General’s first-quarter results, which showed a net profit of $74 million on total revenues of $748 million. In the first three months of 2022, those numbers were $60 million and $626 million, respectively. The top-line increase was helped by a 5% increase in heating-degree days during the quarter—total energy deliveries climbed a little more than 2%—and a 0.9% rise in the company’s average number of retail customers to a little more than 927,000.

Another item of news to go with those earnings was news that CFO Jim Ajello plans to step down from his role June 30 and then help his successor transition for two months. Ajello, 69, has been Portland General’s finance chief since the beginning of 2021, before which he held senior roles at Hawaiian Electric Industries and Reliant Energy, among others.

Shares of Portland General (Ticker: POR) were essentially flat around $51.10 in midday trading April 28. They have climbed about 12% over the past six months, a move that has grown the company’s market capitalization to about $4.6 billion.

About the Author

Geert De Lombaerde | Senior Editor

A native of Belgium, Geert De Lombaerde has more than two decades of business journalism experience and writes about markets and economic trends for Endeavor Business Media publications T&D WorldHealthcare Innovation, IndustryWeek, FleetOwner and Oil & Gas Journal. With a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, he began his reporting career at the Business Courier in Cincinnati and later was managing editor and editor of the Nashville Business Journal. Most recently, he oversaw the online and print products of the Nashville Post and reported primarily on Middle Tennessee’s finance sector as well as many of its publicly traded companies.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of T&D World, create an account today!