Oregon’s last coal plant demolished in Eastern Oregon

Paving the way for a cleaner future, the stack and boiler at PGE’s decommissioned Boardman plant comes down

Sept. 16, 2022

Portland, Ore, — Yesterday, community leaders, Portland General Electric (PGE) retirees and employees gathered at the decommissioned Boardman coal plant to watch as demolition experts knocked down the stack and boiler at the closed generation facility. Viewers, gathered at a safe distance, celebrated this milestone in Oregon’s energy journey, honoring the plant’s 40-year history and marking the end of an era.

Careful placement of explosives, planned and handled by engineers and explosive specialists, allowed the 656-foot-tall smokestack and boiler to complete a controlled fall. Explosives triggered within seconds of each other caused the stack and boiler to come down over a matter of seconds, releasing a shower of dust and residual ash that quickly dissipated.

“From 1980 to 2020, the plant provided reliable energy to Oregon, and served as the workhorse of our generation portfolio,” said Brad Jenkins, PGE’s Vice President of Utility Operations. “While the demolition of Boardman, Oregon’s last coal plant, represents another key step in PGE’s clean energy journey, this milestone would not have been achieved without the effort put into this facility by so many.”

The decision to close Boardman 20 years ahead of schedule was a ground-breaking clean energy commitment made more than ten years prior to the closure through an agreement with stakeholders, customer groups and regulators. During the transition period, PGE worked closely with the local community and plant employees to support them through the process, providing benefits that included a comprehensive retention and severance package, education and job training, and help with placement at other PGE facilities or in new careers.

Since 2010, PGE has implemented solid resource plans to help ensure a reliable supply of power for customers. These plans focus on renewables and other non-emitting, clean energy resources, including Wheatridge – a first-of-its-scale wind, solar and battery storage plant less than 30 miles down the road.

“Morrow County is honored to be the seat of both the past and future of energy generation in Oregon,” said Don Russell, Morrow County Commissioner.

The demolition was one step of many in a thorough environmental cleanup process currently taking place at the plant. PGE expects demolition and decommissioning to be fully complete by the spring of 2023.

Watch footage from yesterday’s demolition. PGE

About Portland General Electric Company
Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company that generates, transmits and distributes electricity to over 900,000 customers in 51 cities across the state of Oregon. For more than 130 years, Portland General Electric (PGE) has powered the advancement of society, delivering safe, affordable, reliable and increasingly clean energy. To deliver on its strategy and meet state targets, PGE and its approximately 3,000 employees committed to partnering with stakeholders to achieve at least an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from power served to customers by 2030 and 100% reduction by 2040. PGE customers set the standard for prioritizing clean energy with the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the country. Additionally, for the fifth year in a row, PGE was recognized by the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index which highlights companies committed to creating a more equal and inclusive workplace. As a reflection of the company's commitment to the community it serves, in 2022, PGE employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated nearly $5.5 million and volunteered more than 18,000 hours with more than 400 nonprofits across Oregon. For more information visit PortlandGeneral.com/news.