Atlanta Power granted deferral
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission will allow Atlanta Power Company to create a deferred account that may eventually allow the small electric utility to recover unanticipated expenses due to the failure of the company’s only hydroelectric turbine.
The turbine at the Kirby Dam on the Middle Fork of the Boise River failed in early June. On June 16, the company began operating a rented diesel generator to provide power to the company’s approximate 75 households and businesses in Atlanta. However, the generator operates for only six hours in the morning and six hours in the evening.
Atlanta Power estimates the cost to repairing the turbine will be about $60,000. In addition to that, the company has incurred about $12,300 in expenses for diesel fuel and for rental of the diesel generator. The company is not requesting recovery of costs at this time, but authority to establish a deferred expense account until a method for recovery of the expenses can be proposed.
While the commission is granting the deferral, that does not limit commission staff’s right to audit, question or challenge the appropriateness of any cost to be deferred, “as this sort of review is critical to protect ratepayers,” commission staff said. Staff also noted that the company has failed to provide annual reports for 2004, 2005 and 2006. The company has been working with staff and a private consultant on getting the reports submitted.
A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, are available on the commission’s Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to Case No. ATL-E-07-01.