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Portland General Electric (PGE) has issued a request for qualifications to pre-qualify bidders for a request for proposals (RFP) the utility plans to release in October. The RFP will seek a third-party provider to organize qualifying non-residential customers to temporarily reduce their use of electricity at the utility's call.

Demand-response (DR) programs can be activated on short notice to reduce the demand for electricity during times of stress on the grid. Customer participation in PGE's new DR program will be entirely voluntary and involve only a few hours each year.

"We already have robust programs in place to help meet the demand for electricity in our service area by partnering with our customers," says Kurt Miller, PGE's director of business model and program development. "We want to take this a step further now by finding new demand-response options that will add flexibility and resilience to our system."

Customers that participate in similar programs typically receive an incentive for reducing load, while the utility gains access to power at a lower cost than building a physical generation resource to meet peak load needs.

Responses to the request for qualifications are due by Sept. 14. Potential bidders that do not respond to the request for qualifications will not have an opportunity to participate in the RFP.




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