PGE approves NW Natural storage project

OREANDA-NEWS. October 04, 2016. Distributor Northwest Natural Gas will proceed with the 2.5 Bcf (71mn m) North Mist gas storage expansion project in Oregon after getting approval from Portland General Electric (PGE), its primary customer.

NW Natural will provide long-term, no-notice underground natural gas storage services for PGE's Beaver and Port Westward generating facilities.

NW Natural will expand the northern section of its existing 16 Bcf underground storage facility at Mist.

The \\$128mn North Mist expansion project includes a new reservoir, an additional compressor station with design capacity of 120mn cf/d and a 13-mile (21 km) pipeline to connect to PGE's gas plants near Clatskanie, Oregon.

The no-notice storage service will support the region's effort to integrate increased renewable generation while also enhancing grid reliability, said NW Natural president David Anderson.

"This type of flexibility is essential as we move toward 50pc renewable energy in our resource mix by 2040," said PGE's president Jim Piro. The facility "enables us to adjust quickly when renewable energy — like wind and solar — rise and fall with natural variability."

The project is scheduled to go into service during the winter of 2018-2019.

The project received approval for an amendment to an existing site certificate from the Oregon Energy Facilities Siting Council in April.

Oregon utilities are working to eliminate coal-fired generation from the state's electric supply mix and to increase use of solar, wind and other renewable generation. The Oregon legislature this year expanded the state's renewable portfolio standard to 50pc by 2040.

PGE 's 220MW Port Westward unit 2, which went into service in late 2014, is designed for maximum flexibility to integrate renewable resources. It is adjacent to PGE's existing gas-fired Port Westward and Beaver plants in Columbia County, Oregon.