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Councilors like green energy plan

Utilities seek more renewables
By R.J. Marx

The Daily Astorian

Published on October 5, 2017 12:01AM

Last changed on October 5, 2017 9:36PM

Councilor Kerry Smith, Mayor Matt Brown and Councilor Paulina Cockrum at Wednesday’s Gearhart City Council meeting.


Councilor Kerry Smith, Mayor Matt Brown and Councilor Paulina Cockrum at Wednesday’s Gearhart City Council meeting.

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Gearhart heard a request from Multnomah County and the city of Portland to consider support for a Pacific Power commitment to renewable energy.

PacifiCorp, parent company of Pacific Power, which delivers power to customers in Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California, is working on their 2017 integrated resource plan, a document to guide how that utility makes their investments over the next several years.

“They are considering a considerable investment of $3.5 billion in renewable energy resources, part of that new wind facilities, transmission capacities and upgrade technology to increase energy output,” City Administrator Chad Sweet said at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. “They are asking for support at the Public Utility Commission for this plan as they increase their renewable portfolio.”

The request was made at the request of Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland and Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson based on the negative impacts of climate change. Multnomah County and Portland jointly committed to transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. “Our utility partners — and the sources of the energy they supply — are critical to that effort,” Wheeler and Pederson wrote.

“According to them, this will not include a rate increase,” Sweet said.

Clatsop County became the first county in Oregon and the second nationwide to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership, an initiative launched in 2001 to encourage the use of energy from renewable sources including solar, wind and hydroelectric.

The designation recognizes the county government’s commitment to purchase at least 10 percent of its annual electricity supply from renewable sources for its operations. The County Board of Commissioners voted in March to make the pledge.

Councilors unanimously endorsed the proposal to support the request.

“I would like to point out to our citizens, Clatsop County will be the first county in Oregon and only the second nationwide to achieve the designation of ‘Green Power Community,’” Councilor Dan Jesse said. “I’m proud of us as a community that we decided to step up.”


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