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Portland General Electric Reports 2012 Financial Results And Initiates 2013 Earnings Guidance

Portland General Electric Company (NYSE: POR) today reported net income of $141 million, or $1.87 per diluted share, for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, compared with $147 million, or $1.95 per diluted share, for 2011. Net income was $28 million, or 38 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with $29 million, or 38 cents per diluted share, for the comparable period of 2011. The decreases in net income were largely due to decreased residential energy deliveries from warmer weather during the heating season, increased pension expense and higher income taxes, partially offset by a deferral of costs related to four capital projects.

“I’m pleased with PGE’s operating performance in 2012,” said Jim Piro, president and chief executive officer. “Our delivery system and generating facilities operated extremely well. We are making investments in our distribution infrastructure to increase the reliability and resilience of our system and have made significant progress on our strategic initiatives, including the selection of Port Westward Unit 2 as our capacity resource.”

Recent developments

  • General Rate Case—On Feb. 15, 2013, PGE filed a general rate case with the Public Utility Commission of Oregon for a $105 million, or approximately 6 percent, overall increase in customer prices, based on a 2014 test year. The goal of the general rate case is to request prices that allow for the recovery of costs necessary to provide safe, reliable and sustainable power to customers. Factors driving the request include improvements to existing power plants and wind forecasting, new Clackamas River fish-sorting facilities, a disaster-preparedness center, technology investments, employees benefit costs and new federal regulations. The request assumes a capital structure of 50 percent debt and 50 percent equity, a return on equity of 10 percent, and an average rate base of $3.1 billion. A final order from the OPUC is expected before the end of 2013, with new customer prices expected to be effective Jan. 1, 2014.
  • Request for Proposals for Energy and Capacity Resources—On Jan. 31, 2013, PGE announced that its proposed Port Westward Unit 2 flexible generating resource was selected as the successful bid in the capacity request for proposals. Construction of the 220 megawatt plant will begin this year with an estimated total cost between $300 million and $310 million and an online date expected in 2015. The request for proposals also sought 300 - 500 megawatts of baseload energy resources, as well as seasonal capacity resources. The company is in the process of negotiating with the top bidder from the final short list of baseload energy projects with a final decision expected by mid-2013. The company will also conduct negotiations to secure power purchase agreements for the seasonal capacity resources.
  • Request for Proposals for Renewable Resources—PGE is evaluating the bids received for the renewables RFP and expects to have a final short list in early March 2013, and a final resource selection expected by mid-2013.
  • Cascade Crossing Transmission Project—On Jan. 11, 2013, PGE and Bonneville Power Administration signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue a modification to PGE’s proposed Cascade Crossing Transmission Project. PGE initially proposed a 215-mile transmission project from Boardman, Ore. to Salem, Ore. Under the MOU the line would be shortened to approximately 120 miles and run from Boardman to a new substation called Pine Grove near Maupin, Oregon. Terms of the MOU provides for PGE to invest in grid enhancements and/or exchange assets with BPA. PGE expects the cost of the full project scope, as modified, to be at least $800 million. Construction of the 120 miles of new transmission would take at least two years and could start as early as 2017. As the parties continue negotiation of the terms and conditions of the modified proposal, the estimated costs and timeline of the project will be clarified.

Fourth quarter operating results

Total revenues decreased $16 million, or 3 percent, in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the fourth quarter of 2011. This was largely due to a 2 percent decrease in the volume of energy sold and delivered, due to warmer weather, and a 2% retail price decrease, reflecting lower expected power costs. Residential energy deliveries decreased 6 percent, due to warmer temperatures in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with 2011, partially offset by a 1 percent increase in commercial and industrial deliveries combined. Adjusting for the effects of weather, total retail deliveries were up approximately 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the fourth quarter of 2011.

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