Oregon is planning to close its last coal power plant, that one in the picture above, ahead of schedule.
There's currently only one lonely coal-fired power plant in all of Oregon. But by 2020, there will be none—Portland General Electric Co., which operates the plant, has announced that it will either shutter the 585 megawatt Boardman plant or convert it to burn biomass. In less than 10 years, the state of Oregon will be coal-free.
The Portland General Electric Co. figured it would cost
about $500 million to upgrade the plant to meet expected post-2020 pollution regulations and decided it wasn't worth it.
The state has been relying heavily on hydroelectric power for a while now, so this isn't a revolution, really. As the chart below shows, in 2005 only 8 percent of Oregon's electricity came from coal. Nearly 70 percent came from hydroelectric power.
Image by Tedder from Wikimedia Commons