Portland, Oregon
Portland General Electric + Wärtsilä

Reference case

Renewable integration through gas peaking power plant in Portland, USA

Portland General Electric Company (PGE) is an investor-owned utility (IOU) located in the Pacific Northwest, which provides electric service to industrial, commercial and residential customers in Portland, Oregon, and surrounding communities.

Today, PGE serves more than 800,000 customers within their 4000-square-mile service territory comprising 52 Oregon cities. In 2009, PGE submitted an Integrated Resource Plan to the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) which stated the need for approximately 224 MW of flexible peaking capacity.

PGE decided in February 2013 to build a 220 MW power plant adjacent to PGE’s existing natural gas-fired Port Westward and Beaver plants, located near Clatskanie in the state of Oregon. Under the name of Port Westward Unit 2, the main services of the new PGE power plant would be providing peaking power during winter and summer periods.

“Port Westward Unit 2’s advanced technology and unique configuration allow PGE to ramp the plant up to full load in less than 10 minutes. This flexibility allows us to adjust quickly when renewable energy – like wind and solar – rise and fall with natural variability. And it also means that on peak demand days, our customers benefit from increased reliability,” says Rick Tetzloff, PGE’s project manager for the new plant.

WhoPortland general electric (PGE)
What224 MW Port Westward unit 2 power plant
WherePortland, Oregon, USA


This is what we achieved


Of electrical output.


and more, households powered in Portland.


And less, to full power after start.

This flexibility allows us to adjust quickly when wind and solar energy rise and fall with natural variability.

Rick Tetzloff, Project Manager, Portland General Electric

How we did it

Challenge icon


  • Seasonal demand variation
  • Use of internal combustion engines, a new technology within PGE
  • Variability of wind and solar power
Solution icon


  • Wärtsilä’s 50SG engines provide peaking power without efficiency loss
  • Wärtsilä’s internal combustion engine with fast-start and excellent ramp rates
  • Vast experience in detailed engineering and support in training about the solution
Benefit icon


  • PGE’s ability to fulfill customers’ demand for electric power (no shortages) at optimal cost
  • Operational flexibility & cost savings
  • Quicker start of commercial operations and revenue generation

The main details

CustomerPortland general electric (PGE)
TypeWärtsilä 50SG peak load/stand-by & emergency power plant
WherePortland, Oregon, USA
Total output224 MW
FuelNatural gas
ScopeEngineering & equipment (EEQ)



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