Ports Generally

ORS 777.230
Port may generate electric power

  • sale of power limited to utilities and federal agency
  • use of natural gas as fuel for generating facilities


A port may:


Design, erect, complete, operate and maintain all necessary hydroelectric, steam-generating, electric, oil, gasoline or other power-producing plants or systems, for the purpose of generating electrical current for lighting and power purposes.


Acquire rights of way for the placing of transmission lines over which to carry the electrical energy required between the points of origin or production and the locations where such power may be carried for distribution, and sell, lease and dispose of same.


This section does not authorize a port to enter into the business of supplying electric energy or services, or other power service, to municipalities or to the public, or for any purpose other than the construction or operation of docks, terminals, elevators or other shipping facilities, or in any of the work ports are authorized by law to engage in.


Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2) of this section, a port may construct, acquire, own or operate, by itself or with other public or private entities, electrical generating plants, electric distribution facilities and related fuel supply and steam generation and distribution facilities. However, the electric output of such plants or systems shall not be sold or delivered, directly or indirectly, to any person or other entity located within this state other than:


An electric utility as defined in ORS 758.505 (Definitions for ORS 758.505 to 758.555); or


The Bonneville Power Administration.


The related fuel supply facilities of a port shall be constructed and operated for the sole purpose of furnishing fuel to the generating plants or systems owned by the port by itself or with other public or private entities.


Except as provided in subsection (6) of this section, natural gas used to fuel the generation of electricity or energy by any port as described in subsection (3) of this section shall be purchased from or transported by an entity, if any, that is a public utility as defined in ORS 757.005 (Definition of public utility) and approved by the Public Utility Commission under ORS 758.400 (Definitions for ORS 758.015 and 758.400 to 758.475) to 758.475 (Fees) to distribute natural gas in the service territory in which the port is located.


The rate charged a port by the public utility shall be the rate found to be reasonable by the Public Utility Commission under ORS 757.230 (Control of commission over classification of services and forms of schedules). When reviewing the rate, the Public Utility Commission shall also determine the cost of alternatives to natural gas service from the public utility. For the purposes of this subsection, the cost of alternatives to natural gas service from the public utility is the cost incurred by a person other than a port without consideration of governmental entitlements that are available to a port but not to private persons. If the rate acceptable to the public utility and found to be reasonable by the Public Utility Commission is greater than such cost of alternatives, the port may pursue other alternatives for natural gas service. [1971 c.728 §25 (enacted in lieu of 777.130); 1985 c.773 §4; 1991 c.253 §1]
§§ 777.005 to 777.725

Law Review Citations

51 OLR 53 (1971)

Chapter 777

Notes of Decisions

Port district's power to formulate rules and regulations to prevent estuary and stream pollution within its boundaries did not give it standing to object to power supply contract between Bonneville Power Administration and proposed aluminum plant. Port of Astoria v. Hodel, 595 F2d 467 (1979)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021