Oregon's clean energy future moves forward as the decommissioned Boardman plant stack and boiler come down.

COURTESY PGE - PGE's Boardman coal plant closed in 2020, and this September PGE celebrates its demolition.Portland General Electric has demolished the stack and boiler at the decommissioned Boardman coal plant in Eastern Oregon, the utility announced September 15.

According to PGE, the Boardman coal plant is the last coal plant in Oregon to be demolished after its 40-year history — and its closure in 2020 came 20 years ahead of schedule.

The coal plant demolition is a step in PGE's environmental cleanup process currently taking place at the plant, with full demolition and decommissioning to be complete by spring 2023.

Brad Jenkins is the PGE vice president of utility operations.

"From 1980 to 2020, the plant provided reliable energy to Oregon, and served as the workhorse of our generation portfolio," Jenkins said. "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."

Engineers and specialists handled explosives to take down the 656-foot-tall smokestack and boiler, completing a controlled fall.

The early closure was due to Oregon's ground-breaking clean energy commitment xxx, on which PGE has worked closely with the public sector as well as plant employees, providing comprehensive retention and severance packages, education, jobs training and placement support at other PGE facilities or in new careers.

According to PGE, the utility is focusing on renewable and other non-emitting clean energy resources, such as the wind, solar and battery storage plant Wheatridge less than 30 miles from the Boardman location. According to PGE, Wheatridge is the first clean energy plant of its scale.

"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.

PGE owns 16 energy generation plants across Oregon and other Northwestern states, and is a Portland-based fully integrated energy company.

Watch a video of the demolition from OPB.

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.

Have a thought or opinion on the news of the day? Get on your soapbox and share your opinions with the world. Send us a Letter to the Editor!