Portland General Electric (PGE) keeps many Birkenstock-shod feet warm. The company, formerly a subsidiary of Enron, generates, purchases, and distributes electricity to about 837,000 customers in Oregon, including more than 140,000 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 2,870 MW in 2013. 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 2013 PGE reported a very slight uptick in revenue, from $1.80 billion to $1.81 billion, due to increased wholesale prices and sales. Net income dropped 26%, from $141 to $104, as the power company paid back overcharges to an industrial customer, took charges related to a discontinued power plant construction project, and incurred costs to buy power when it had unplanned power plant outages. Cash from operations grew about 10%, from $494 million to $544 million, mostly attributable to the receipt of $44 million because of a legal matter.
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. In 2013 it cancelled planned construction of the new Cascade Crossing plant in favor of buying the power it needs.
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