Portland, Oregon – As the Northwest energy industry continues to evolve, PNGC Power and its 15 rural electric cooperative members today announced the adoption of a “Big Three” list of policy priorities focused on ensuring future access to clean, affordable and reliable electricity. The intentional identification of 3 major policy drivers will keep PNGC laser-focused as the generation and transmission cooperative continues to deliver on its mission in a changing regional and national energy environment.
“We’re looking for a sea change,” said Roger Gray, President and CEO of PNGC Power. “We see that there are major, interconnected issues facing us now. PNGC has solutions to address them.” To deliver on PNGC’s primary mission to lower cost and risk for its members by working together to purchase electric power and transmission, PNGC will focus on 3 policy areas referred to as the “Big Three:”
- Working regionally to establish a Regional Transmission Organization/Independent System Operator (RTO/ISO) that works for the Northwest: PNGC believes we need to establish a RTO/ISO across the Northwest, and possibly larger. The RTO/ISO needs to provide fair and open transmission access and efficient market structures and the ability for the region to build physical infrastructure to provide clean, affordable, and reliable power resources and transmission for the entire region. A first deliverable of a RTO/ISO must be to tackle the significant Resource Adequacy (RA) and reliability challenges we face, as well as looming capacity shortages. “This would put the Northwest on similar footing as much of the rest of the country, and it’s an opportunity to evolve and modernize our regional operations and planning functions,” Gray said.
- Shoring up the Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA’s) competitiveness in an evolving regional energy environment: BPA’s recent pattern of rising costs and rates is unsustainable. “We need to comprehensively address the major issues impacting BPA, including rising fish and wildlife costs and associated endless litigation, aging infrastructure, BPA’s financial challenges and limitations, and BPA’s other looming uncertainties and risks that will affect supply and cost uncertainty, just to name a few,” said Gray. As the 1980 Northwest Power Act turns 40, affecting real change may require working with Congress to identify legislative solutions that allow BPA to compete in a changing energy environment.
- Supporting rational state and federal policies that enable PNGC to achieve its goal of achieving 100% carbon-neutrality by 2033. PNGC’s plan is to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2033, with a power portfolio that is clean, affordable, and reliable. “A carbon-neutral policy allows us to use all the tools in the toolbox to reduce and actually eliminate carbon in the most cost-effective and reliable way,” Gray said. “We know this makes sense for our members, spread across seven Western states. And we know it makes sense to take this approach across the Northwest and beyond.” PNGC is deeply concerned that current and developing policies are going to lead to expensive and unreliable outcomes, such as we see in California already.
Focus on the “Big Three” will position PNGC well now and into the future. We look forward to working collaboratively with our regional partners, as well as state and federal policymakers to achieve these ambitious policy goals. For more information on this initiative, please visit our The Future page.
About PNGC Power
PNGC Power is an Oregon-based electric generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative owned by 15 Northwest electric distribution cooperative utilities with service territory in seven western states (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming). The company creates value for its member systems by providing power supply, transmission, and other management services. PNGC Power is an aggregator of geographically diverse loads in the region. More information about PNGC Power can be found at www.pngcpower.com.