PacifiCorp Requests $70 Million Rate Hike for Electric Service in Oregon

PacifiCorp filed a general rate revision with the Oregon Public Utilities Commission, seeking an increase of about $78 million for its electric services and recovery of about $17.3 million related to the early closure of Unit 4 of the 395-megawatt Cholla coal power plant, according to a Feb. 14 filing.  The company’s proposal to amortize deferred tax benefits associated with the federal Tax Cut Act offsets these increases, reflecting a decrease to rates of about $24.9 million, for an overall increase of $70.8 million or 5.4 percent.

Last December, PacifiCorp announced it would retire Cholla Unit 4 by December 31, 2020. PacifiCorp’s 2017 and 2019 integrated resource plans identified the retirement of Cholla Unit 4 as early as 2020, as the company moves toward increasing reliance on new non-emitting generation. The Cholla power plant consists of four units located in Arizona, with a combined generating capability of 995 megawatts.  PacifiCorp owns about 37 percent of the plant’s common facilities and 100 percent of Unit 4 which was commissioned in 1981.

The company seeks approval of the increase effective Jan. 1, 2021. PacifiCorp provides electric service to approximately 615,000 retail customers in Oregon and approximately 1.9 million total retail customers in California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.