Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2020

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Energy Systems Management


College of Arts and Sciences


Energy Systems Management

First Advisor

Jim Williams


An integrated resource plan (IRP) for Portland General Electric (PGE) is developed in this master’s project. The IRP is based on capacity expansion modeling for zero-carbon emission scenarios. PGE is a public electric utility based in Oregon and serves around 887,000 customers across a territory of 4,000 sq. miles. The utility’s resource mix is currently heavily dependent on natural gas making up almost 50% of its capacity. While the state renewable portfolio standards (RPS) require Oregon power utilities to derive 50% of their generation from renewable sources by 2040, PGE plans to move rapidly into a clean energy mix by investing more in wind, hydro and solar resources. We performed a regression-based load and resource assessment for PGE and estimated a gap of 4350 MW between existing resource capacity and projected load till 2050. With a research goal of achieving zero-emissions by 2050, we model three different scenarios for PGE. The first scenario, a Reference case is based on business as usual operations with a target to achieve the state RPS, the other two scenarios go beyond the RPS and meet a zero-emissions target by 2050. These cases include a High Renewables scenario and a Carbon Capture & Sequestration (CCS) scenario. While the High Renewables scenario considers rapid addition of renewables into the capacity mix, the CCS scenario considers meeting the zero-emissions target by adding CCS technology to natural gas plants. A hybrid fuel with 10% biogas is used in such natural gas-plus-CCS plants. Using data available from U.S. Energy Information Administration, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, we performed optimizations and designed a model to obtain results for the three scenarios. The model considers all key clean energy policies in Oregon and is in alignment with the Oregon Public Utility commission (OPUC) regulations. This includes the Coal Transition Act that mandates all utilities to end coal-based energy by 2035 and no further addition of coal plants after retirement of existing plants. Through quantitative analyses and graphical representations, we compare results from different scenarios and study the impacts of each on the existing system. Results demonstrate significant changes in the energy resource mix, annual costs, retail rate of electricity, curtailment and emission intensity across 2020 to 2050. Based on our results, analyses and conclusions, we propose recommendations to the PGE that may be considered for achieving zero-emissions by 2050.