Idaho Power-Simplot propose sales agreement
Idaho Power Company is seeking regulatory approval of a sales agreement with J.R. Simplot Co. to buy up to 10 average megawatts of electricity from a cogeneration facility at Simplot’s industrial site near Pocatello.
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is taking comments on the proposed agreement through March 24. The agreement would be the renewal of a one-year agreement that recently expired. The proposed new agreement is for seven years.
The project qualifies for published rates set by the commission under the provisions of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act passed by Congress during the energy crisis of the late 1970s. The federal act requires electric utilities to offer to buy power produced by qualifying small-power producers or co-generators. The rate to be paid project developers is set by the commission 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. The published rate for a contract beginning this year is 5.15 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The Idaho commission has limited the size of firm projects that can qualify for PURPA rates to 10 megawatts. The Simplot co-generation project has a capacity of 18.75 MW, but under normal conditions will not exceed 10 average megawatts on a monthly basis. The proposed agreement states Idaho Power will accept inadvertent energy that exceeds that amount but will not purchase it. The project is already interconnected with Idaho Power’s transmission grid.
The company is asking that its prudently incurred expenses related to the proposed sales agreement be recovered from ratepayers.
Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (IPC-E-06-03) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.
A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, are available on the commission’s Web site. Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to the above case number.