|Headquarters||825 NE Multnomah
Portland, OR 97232
|Number of locations||CA, ID, OR, UT, WA, WY|
|Key people||Greg Abel, CEO|
|Industry||Electric Producer & Distributor|
|Revenue||$4.26 billion (2007)|
|Net income||▲ $439 million (2007)|
Owned by: Berkshire Hathaway
Rocky Mountain Power
PacifiCorp is an electric power company in the northwestern United States.
PacifiCorp has three primary subsidiaries:
- Pacific Power is a regulated electric utility with service territory throughout Oregon, northern California, and southeastern Washington.
- Rocky Mountain Power is a regulated electric utility with service territory throughout Utah, Wyoming, and southeastern Idaho.
- PacifiCorp Energy operates 69 generation facilities in the six states that Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power operate in, plus two facilities in Montana, three in Colorado, and one in Arizona.
Since 2006, PacifiCorp has been a wholly owned subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings, itself an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway. PacifiCorp is currently headquartered at 825 N.E. Multnomah Street, Portland, Oregon, in the Lloyd District. Pacific Power is also headquartered in the same building. Rocky Mountain Power and PacifiCorp Energy are headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power combined serve over 1.4 million residential customers, 202,000 commercial customers, and 34,000 industrial and irrigation customers - for a total of approximately 1,668,000 customers. The service area is 136,000 square miles. Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power own and maintain 15,622 miles of long distance transmission lines, 43,850 miles of overhead distribution lines, 14,510 miles of underground distribution lines, and 900 substations.
Out of its total 8,726 MW of electric generating capacity in 2005 (0.82% of the U.S. total), PacifiCorp produced 78.6% from coal, 13.0% from hydroelectricity, 10.5% from natural gas, and 0.3% from geothermal. PacifiCorp owns power plants in California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Existing coal-fired power plants
|Plant Name||State||County||Year(s) Built||Capacity||2007 CO2 Emissions||2006 SO2 Emissions|
|Jim Bridger||WY||Sweetwater||1974, 1975, 1976, 1979||2318 MW||16,500,000 tons||20,055 tons|
|Hunter||UT||Emery||1978, 1980, 1983||1472 MW||10,600,000 tons||7,338 tons|
|Huntington||UT||Emery||1974, 1977||996 MW||6,170,000 tons||17,405 tons|
|Dave Johnston||WY||Converse||1959, 1961, 1964, 1972||817 MW||6,959,000 tons||22,351 tons|
|Naughton||WY||Lincoln||1963, 1968, 1971||707 MW||5,778,000 tons||20,664 tons|
|Wyodak||WY||Campbell||1978||362 MW||3,475,000 tons||6,514 tons|
In 2006, PacifiCorp's 6 coal-fired power plants emitted 49.5 million tons of CO2 (0.82% of all U.S. CO2 emissions) and 94,000 tons of SO2 (0.63% of all U.S. SO2 emissions).
Proposed coal unit closures
In its April 2012 filing, PacifiCorp announced its intention to stop burning coal at Naughton Power Plant unit 3. PacifiCorp is debating converting the plant to natural gas, primarily to serve summer peak load in Utah and Wyoming.
Directors (as of 2007) 
- Gregory E. Abel, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman
- Douglas L. Anderson
- William J. Fehrman
- Brent E. Gale
- Patrick J. Goodman
- Nolan E. Karras
- A. Robert Lasich
- David J. Mendez
- Mark C. Moench
- Patrick Reiten
- A. Richard Walje
- Stanley K. Watters
Coal Plant Cancellations
In 2007, PacifiCorp cancelled six proposed coal-fired power plants. These included Utah's Intermountain Power Project Unit 3, Jim Bridger Unit 5, and four proposed plants previously included in PacifiCorp's Integrated Resource Plan. The cancellations came in the wake of pressure from regulators and citizen groups, including a petition drive organized by Salt Lake City commercial real estate broker Alexander Lofft and directed at Buffett personally. The 1,600 petitioners, who described themselves in a letter to Buffett as "a collection of citizens, business owners and managers, service professionals, public servants, and organization representatives ... your friends and new customers here in Utah," explained that, in their view, any further expansion of coal generation in Utah would "compromise our health, obscure our viewsheds, shrink and contaminate our watersheds, and thin out our most beloved snowpack," concluding that "our attractiveness as a place to live and work is also threatened, and so is our economic competitiveness as a major metro area and a state, compromising our recent gains in income and property values."
Facebook and PacifiCorp
It was announced in January 2010 that the popular social networking site Facebook would build its first data center in the eastern Oregon town of Prineville. The cost of the 147,000 square foot facility will cost approximately $200 million. It will be the first data center Facebook has built. The plant would provide jobs to the economically depressed town. However, critics claim that the plant's need for electricity will be substantial, pointing out that Prineville's utility company PacifiCorp generates the majority of its power by coal-firing.
"Facebook, by opening this center, is sending a signal: We're not quite done with coal yet," said Daniel Kessler of Greenpeace of Facebook's decision. "We understand that the data center is being built. They already have a power service agreement. This is really about where Facebook and the industry are going."
A Facebook group titled "Get Facebook off Coal" has drawn over 8,000 thousands of members as of late February 2010. Another group by the name of "We want Facebook to use 100% renewable energy" has also accumulated over 12,000 members as of February 25, 2010. Campaigners that oppose Facebook's decision to build a plant hope that pressure from Facebook users could force the company to reconsider its decision to power the facility by burning coal.
"It is simply untrue to say that we chose coal as a source of power ... Every data center plugs into the grid offered by their utility or power provider" Facebook has responded. "In selecting Oregon, we chose a region that offers a uniquely dry and temperate climate.
Rate Increases for Consumers
In May 2010 the Wyoming Public Service Commission approved Rocky Mountain Power's proposal to raise utility rates for its Wyoming customers to help pay for the company's coal plant environmental improvements. Rocky Mountain Power is a subsidiary of PacifiCorp. The utility will increase the overall average consumer electrical rates by 5.1 percent in July 2010 and 1.9 percent in February 2011 to generate another $35.5 million per year. The company is expected to file for another rate increase later this year, which would result in new rates again at some point in 2011.
Resources and articles
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 PacifiCorp Form 10K, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, 2007, p. 64.
- ↑ PacifiCorp Facts, PacifiCorp, accessed July 27, 2007.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed April 2008.
- ↑ Environmental Integrity Project, Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants, July 2007.
- ↑ Dig Deeper, Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed June 2008.
- ↑ Bob Jenks, "CUB Applauds Coal Shut Down, Demands Better Analysis of Coal Investment," Citizens Utility Board, April 18, 2012.
- ↑ ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE, sec.edgar-online, accessed July 27, 2007.
- ↑ "The Education of Warren Buffett: Why did the guru cancel six coal plants?" Ted Nace, Gristmill, April 15, 2008
- ↑ Facebook takes heat over coal-fired power in its Prineville data center Mike Rogoway, The Oregonian, February 23, 2010
- ↑ Facebook gets slammed by environmentalists USA Today, February 22, 2010
- ↑ "Wyoming commission approves utility rate hikes" Associated Press, May 15, 2010.
Related Sourcewatch articles
- Alan K. Simpson
- Ernest Bloch II
- Utah and coal
- Wyoming and coal
- United States and coal
- Global warming
- "The Education of Warren Buffett: Why did the guru cancel six coal plants?" Ted Nace, Gristmill, April 15, 2008