Portland General Electric provides business update

Aug. 24, 2020

  • Third Quarter Realized Losses of $104 Million and Unrealized Mark-to-Market Losses of $23 Million in the Company’s Energy Trading Portfolio as of August 24, 2020

  • Total Third Quarter Losses in the Portfolio are Estimated to be Up to $155 Million Subject to Market Conditions

  • No Impact on Customer Prices or PGE's Ability to Serve Customers

  • Board Forms Special Committee to Undertake Review

  • Lowers Full-Year 2020 Guidance to $1.30 to $1.60 per Diluted Share

  • No Impact Expected to Dividend Guidance or Long-Term EPS Growth Rate; Company Remains Financially Sound, with Ample Liquidity

Portland, Ore. – Portland General Electric Company (NYSE: POR) (“PGE” or the “Company”) today provided a business update in connection with energy trading activity in certain wholesale electricity markets that has resulted in realized and unrealized losses of $127 million as of August 24, 2020.

Background and Formation of Special Committee

PGE personnel entered into a number of energy trades during 2020, with increasing volume accumulating late in the second quarter and into the third quarter, resulting in significant exposure to the Company.

In August 2020, this portion of PGE’s energy portfolio experienced significant losses as wholesale electricity prices increased substantially at various market hubs due to extreme weather conditions, constraints to regional transmission facilities, and changes in power supply in the West. During this time period, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) declared a Stage 3 Electrical Emergency and ordered the first rolling blackouts in the state of California since 2001.

As a result of the convergence of these conditions, the Company’s energy portfolio, as of August 24, 2020, has experienced realized losses of $104 million and unrealized, mark-to-market losses of $23 million. Total third quarter losses in the portfolio are estimated to be up to $155 million subject to market conditions – although the ultimate amount of losses could exceed that amount.

The increase in net variable power costs due to this trading activity will be recognized in PGE’s results of operations. There will be no impact to customer prices, as the Company will not pursue regulatory recovery. The Company noted that the loss does not impact PGE’s ability to serve customers.

Promptly upon learning of the issue, the PGE Board of Directors formed a Special Committee comprising five independent Board members (John Ballantine, Jack Davis (Chair), Kathryn Jackson, Neil Nelson and Charles Shivery) to review the energy trading that led to the losses and the Company’s procedures and controls related to the trading, and to make recommendations to the Board for appropriate action. The Special Committee has retained Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP as its independent legal advisor, which expects to engage additional advisors on behalf of the Special Committee during the course of this review.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as the Company’s legal advisor, and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is serving as its financial advisor. PGE has engaged and is actively working with an external consultant to perform a full operational review of the Company’s energy supply risk management policies, procedures and personnel. In addition, PGE has placed two individuals on administrative leave, pending review, and enhanced oversight including implementing immediate supervisory and reporting changes in advance of the conclusion of a broader evaluation.

Annual Earnings Guidance

PGE is revising its full-year 2020 guidance from $2.20 to $2.50 per diluted share to $1.30 to $1.60 per diluted share due to the impacts of higher net variable power costs. This guidance is based on the following assumptions:

  • Higher third quarter net variable power costs of up to $155 million;

  • Annual retail deliveries flat, weather adjusted, year over year;

  • Average hydro conditions for the year;

  • Wind generation based on five years of historical levels or forecast studies when historical data is not available;

  • Normal thermal plant operations;

  • Operating and maintenance expense between $550 million and $570 million, which includes a full-year forecasted bad debt expense of $15 million due to moratoriums on collection activities and customer disconnects; and

  • Depreciation and amortization expense between $410 million and $430 million.

The Company believes the impact of this event is isolated to 2020, and reaffirms 4% to 6% long-term diluted earnings per share growth based on previous guidance. The Company does not expect any change to its dividend guidance.

Financing and Liquidity

PGE continues to have a strong balance sheet and ample liquidity.

As of August 24, 2020, the Company maintains short-term liquidity of $155 million cash, a $500 million revolving credit facility, which has a maturity date of November 2023, and a $220 million letter of credit facility, of which $172 million remains available. The Company has $75 million of commercial paper outstanding.

PGE expects to fund estimated capital requirements with cash from operations, issuances of long-term debt securities of up to $325 million, and the issuance of commercial paper, as needed.

PGE believes that the issuance of secured long-term debt, as well as other sources of liquidity, such as borrowings under its revolving credit facility, the expected ability to issue short-term debt, such as commercial paper, and unsecured long-term debt, and cash expected to be generated from operations provide ample liquidity to meet the Company’s anticipated capital and operating requirements.

About Portland General Electric Company
Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon, with operations across the state. The company serves approximately 900,000 customers with a service area population of 2 million Oregonians in 51 cities. PGE owns 16 generation plants across Oregon and other Northwestern states and maintains and operates 14 public parks and recreation areas. For over 130 years, PGE has delivered safe, affordable and reliable energy to Oregonians. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. PGE and its 3,000 employees are working with customers to build a clean energy future. In 2020, PGE, employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated $5.6 million and volunteered 18,200 hours with more than 400 nonprofits across Oregon. For more information visit portlandgeneral.com/news.

Safe Harbor Statement
Statements in this news release that relate to future plans, objectives, expectations, performance, events and the like may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the company’s future energy mix; statements concerning the company’s integration of smart-grid technologies and renewable energy into the grid; statements regarding acquisition, construction, completion, and operation of generating and battery storage facilities; as well as other statements containing words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “promises,” “expects,” “should,” “conditioned upon,” “will,” “would,” “could” and similar expressions. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including construction and operational risks relating to the generation and battery storage facilities, including wind conditions and unscheduled delays or plant outages, which may result in unanticipated operating, maintenance and repair costs, as well as replacement power costs; the costs of compliance with environmental laws and regulations, including changes in weather, hydroelectric and energy markets conditions, which could affect the availability and cost of purchased power and fuel; changes in capital market conditions, which could affect the availability and cost of capital and result in delay or cancellation of capital projects; failure to complete capital projects on schedule or within budget, failure of the counterparty to perform under the agreements, or the abandonment of capital projects, which could result in the company’s inability to recover project costs; the outcome of various legal and regulatory proceedings; and general economic and financial market conditions. As a result, actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements included in this news release are based on information available to the company on the date hereof and such statements speak only as of the date hereof. The company assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statement. Prospective investors should also review the risks and uncertainties listed in the company’s most recent annual report on form 10-K and the company’s reports on forms 8-K and 10-Q filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations and the risks described therein from time to time.

For more information contact:

Brianne Hyder, PGE



For more information contact:

Dan Katcher, Jamie Moser, Arielle Rothstein, Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher


For more information contact:

Jardon Jaramillo, Investor Relations