Company seeks approval for 170-MW natural gas plant
Parties seeking to intervene in Idaho Power’s application to build a 170-megwatt natural gas plant north of Mountain Home have until May 18 to file petitions for intervention.
Idaho Power is asking the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the construction of the Evander Andrews Power Plant at the existing 40-acre Evander Andrews Power Complex, already the home of two 45-MW gas fired generators built by Idaho Power in 2001. Regulated utilities typically don’t begin major construction or expansion without having first obtained from the commission a certificate stating the future or present public convenience and necessity require the construction. The certificate gives utilities some assurance that their prudently incurred project costs may be recovered from customers at a later date.
Idaho Power’s application includes a commitment cost of $60 million that is asking to be eventually included in base rates if the commission finds the costs were prudently incurred. Idaho Power proposes that capital costs exceeding $60 million be absorbed by the company and not passed on to customers. The commitment estimate does not include an upper-limit estimate of $22.8 million to construct transmission and substation facilities needed to interconnect the project to Idaho Power’s transmission system. Idaho Power’s 230 kV transmission system is about seven miles from the Evander Andrews site.
After a bid process that included 31 proposals from nine companies, Idaho Power selected Siemens Power Generation, Inc. to build the plant, the same firm that constructed the company’s Bennett Mountain Power Plant, also near Mountain Home. Once the plant is built, ownership would be transferred to Idaho Power. The plant is anticipated to be available to meet peak demand in the summer of 2008.
Idaho Power says the project was included as part of the company’s 2004 plan for meeting customer demand over the next 10 years. In addition to natural gas sources, the company plans to acquire 100 MW through conservation and energy-efficiency programs and has issued Request for Proposals for 100 MW of wind power and 100 MW of geothermal energy.
Petitions to intervene for the purpose of presenting evidence and cross-examining witnesses must be filed with the commission by May 18. A public comment deadline for those desiring to present their views without formal intervention will soon be announced.
A copy of the company’s application and other documents related to the case can be found 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. IPC-E-06-09.