Case No. AVU-E-06-10, Order No. 30224

January 19, 2007

Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339



Avista to buy power from Plummer lumber company


The Idaho Public Utilities Commission today authorized Avista Utilities to buy up to 6.5 megawatts of energy from Stimson Lumber Company. Stimson operates a thermal wood waste generating plant at Plummer.


Included in a sales agreement between Avista and Stimson is an interconnection agreement that allows the energy created by the lumber plant to be connected to Avista’s transmission grid.


HaleyWest LLC previously operated the Stimson facility. Stimson has assumed HaleyWest’s obligations under an agreement that expired on Sept. 30. The new five-year agreement is effective retroactively to Oct. 1.


The Stimson generating facility is a qualifying facility under the provision of the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, or PURPA. The act requires that electric utilities offer to buy power produced by small power producers or cogenerators who obtain Qualifying Facility (QF) status. The published rate to be paid project developers, called an avoided-cost rate, is set by state commissions and is to be equal to the cost the electric utility avoids if it would have had to generate the power itself or purchase it from another source.


Avista will be the sole buyer of Stimson’s generation. Stimson will operate its facility in such a manner that the hourly scheduled amount of delivered output will not exceed 6.5 megawatts in any hour. If Stimson should generate more than that, Avista can buy the surplus energy, but is not obligated to do so. If Avista chooses to buy surplus output, it will pay Stimson the current month’s wholesale market energy price or the contract purchase price, whichever is lower.


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 Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to Case No. AVU-E-06-10.