Portland General Electric (PGE) keeps many Birkenstock-shod feet warm. The company, formerly a subsidiary of Enron, generates, purchases, and distributes electricity to about 828,000 customers in Oregon, including 100,000 commercial customers. PGE's service territory covers 52 cities, including Portland and Salem. Its 13 hydroelectric, coal-fired, and gas-fired plants had a generating capacity of 2,781 MW in 2011. PGE also markets wholesale electricity and natural gas to other utilities and marketers in the western US. In keeping with the "green" image of Portland residents, PGE leads the nation in residential customers who purchase power from renewable sources.
PGE's state-approved service area allocation of 4,000 square miles is located entirely within Oregon and includes 52 incorporated cities, of which Portland and Salem are the largest.
In 2011 PGE reported an almost 2% jump in revenues primarily due to the effect of an increase in residential volumes because of a cooler-than-usual winter season, as well as increased demand from the paper sector, and a 3.9% increase in average retail price.
However, net income rose $26 million (21.5%) thanks to higher revenues and lower purchased power and fuel expenses driven by a decrease in the proportion of power provided by company-owned thermal power plants. Depreciation and amortization expenses also decreased by 5% as a result of a drop in amortization of customer refunds for certain tax credits and a decrease related to the impairment loss recognized in 2010 on photovoltaic solar power facilities.
By managing its own power plants in conjunction with power supplies on the wholesale market, PGE's fully integrated power supply operations provides the company's management with flexibility and efficiency to balance its power supply resources to achieve the lower costs for customers.
Oregon's official Renewable Energy Standard requires PGE to serve at least 5% of its retail load from renewable resources from 2011 through 2014, and 15% for 2015 and up to 25% by 2025. PGE has announced that it needs 873 MW of new power generation resources by 2015, and 1,396 MW by 2020, in order to keep pace with customer demand in the fast-growing region.
Energy from PGE-owned wind generating resources increased 46% in 2011, and represented 6% of the company's retail load requirement compared to 4% in 2010.
In 2011 the Department of Energy named PGE as the top US utility in terms of renewable power customers (12.6% of eligible customers).