Actions are underway  at the Oregon Public Utility Commission (the “PUC”) to implement HB 2193, Oregon’s energy storage legislation.  HB 2193 requires that PacifiCorp and Portland General Electric (“PGE”) submit proposals for energy storage systems capable of storing at least 5 MWh of energy – with an aggregate capacity not to exceed one percent of each company’s peak load in 2014 – by January 1, 2018.

On December 28, 2016, the PUC issued Order No. 16-504 (the “Order”), setting forth guidelines and requirements for PacifiCorp and PGE to follow in submitting these proposals.  Approved by Chief Administrative Law Judge Michael Grant on January 5, 2017, the Order adopts project guidelines, proposal guidelines, storage evaluation requirements, and competitive bidding requirements for PacifiCorp and PGE storage project proposals.

  • Project Guidelines

The PUC’s project guidelines encourage PacifiCorp and PGE to submit proposals for “multiple, differentiated projects that test varying technologies or applications[.]”  To that end, the guidelines request that PacifiCorp and PGE submit a portfolio of projects that include varying technology types and levels of maturity.  The companies are also encouraged to consider strategically located projects, and to identify “qualified vendors and viable energy storage technologies through a Request for Information (RFI) process.”

  • Proposal Guidelines

Adopted proposal guidelines request that PacifiCorp and PGE include in their project submissions information regarding each project’s technical specifications, cost, benefits to the electric system (as well as a methodology for determining such benefits), and cost-effectiveness, among other project-specific information.

  • Storage Evaluation Requirements

HB 2193 requires the PUC to develop a multi-step process for evaluating projects’ system-wide storage potential.  Under the Order, PUC staff will “convene workshops to develop a framework for the electric companies’ evaluations,” with the framework to be presented at a special public meeting by March 31, 2017.  PacifiCorp and PGE must then prepare and file evaluations with the PUC by June 1, 2017; another special public meeting will be held by July 21, 2017 for stakeholder and PUC input regarding the evaluations.  Final versions of PacifiCorp’s and PGE’s evaluations must be filed with the PUC by January 1, 2018.

  • Competitive Bidding Requirements

HB 2193 projects are subject to competitive bidding requirements, unless a project may only be developed by a single vendor or contractor.  PacifiCorp and PGE are responsible for demonstrating that they used a fair, competitive process to award HB 2193 projects, and must provide an opportunity for the PUC and stakeholders to comment on any request for proposals.

Projects authorized under HB 2193 must be procured by PacifiCorp and PGE by January 1, 2020.