The era of coal-fired power generation is over — in Oregon at least.
Portland General Electric permanently closed its Boardman Generating Station in Morrow County in Eastern Oregon on Thursday, Oct. 15 — the only such power plant of its kind remaining in the state.
The move was more than 20 years ahead of schedule, according to the utility.
"Our customers are counting on us to deliver a clean energy future," PGE CEO Maria Pope said in a news release. "PGE's Boardman closure is a major step on our path to meeting Oregon's greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and transforming our system to reliably serve our customers with a cleaner, more sustainable energy mix."
As recently as 2016, nearly a third of Oregon's power was generated by burning coal, The Guardian newspaper reported. In March of that year, Gov. Kate Brown signed into law a ban on coal-fired power — but not until 2040.
The Boardman plant, which officially opened in 1980, had long drawn the ire of environmental groups. PGE said some workers will remain on the job in 2021 performing clean-up duties and readying the site for demolition in 2022.