Oregon’s Legislative Transition from Coal Generation to Renewable Energy

Nick Eshleman

On Tuesday March 8, 2016, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 1547 into law, aiming to wean the state off of coal and boost its use of renewable resources. This may result in a cost increase to customers, but existing limits on renewable source costs may offset a portion of the increase if left
in place.

  • The bill requires the elimination of all coal-generated electric generation imports to Oregon’s major electric utilities by 2030
  • Additionally, at least 50% of all electricity sold to retail customers must come from renewable sources by 2040
  • These standards only apply to larger utilities servicing more than 800,000 customers. Currently, that includes Portland General Electric and Pacific Power, but excludes many smaller municipal utilities and electric cooperatives
  • The bill does not require utilities to shut down existing coal capacity; instead it permits utilities to reallocate coal plants to customers in other states
  • Renewables have a 4% premium cap under existing law for Investor-Owned Utilities, limiting the potential cost increase to customers. Utilities are permitted to pass any cost increases associated with compliance to the customer

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The information in this page is offered only for general informational and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice.

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