Portland General Electric closed the Boardman coal plant on Oct. 15 as the company further transitions to using renewable energy sources. PORTLAND, Ore. — The super hot furnace that burned many tons of coal over 40 years near Boardman, Oregon, is now dark. It was the only place in the state where coal was burned to make electricity. The owner, Portland General Electric (PGE), shut it down for good Oct. 15. I visited the plant in October 2019 to talk about the closing, which was on the horizon. One of the workers sorry to see it all come to an end was there at the beginning 42 years ago. Dave Bolz is proud of the work he did and the energy the plant provided. “Wintertime, summertime, when they really need the power, we’re always running. We’re there. So, it’s been, knowing we’re providing that Portland General Electric for the City of Portland basically, personal pride in that accomplishment,” he said. Coal plants are dirty for the environment but they are also dependable sources of electricity, much more dependable than wind or solar or hydro sources. Still, major utilities are making the move away from coal, pressured by consumers, lawsuits […]

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