IDAHO PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION
Case No. IPC-E-06-10, Order No. 30060
Case No. IPC-E-06-11, Order No. 30061
June 6, 2006
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339
Idaho Power proposes two wind agreements
Idaho Power Co. is seeking state Public Utility Commission approval of energy sales agreements with two wind projects in the Bell Rapids area near Hagerman.
The first (Case No. IPC-E-06-10) is with Cassia Wind Farm LLC, a 10.5-megawatt facility that will include five, 2.1-megawatt turbines. The second (Case No. IPC-E-06-11) is with Cassia Gulch Wind Park LLC, which is an 18.9-MW facility consisting of nine, 2.1-MW turbines. Both projects are anticipated to begin operation by Dec. 31. The project manager for both is Jared Grover of Hagerman.
Developers of small-power projects are entitled to a rate – now about $61 per megawatt-hour – that is determined and then published by the commission as required by the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, or PURPA. The federal act requires electric utilities to offer to buy power from qualifying small producers of renewable energy projects. The published rate to be paid developers is called an “avoided-cost rate” – equal to the cost the utility avoids if it would have had to generate the power itself or purchase it from another source.
Both projects are also subject to the “90-110 performance band,” which would allow Idaho Power to pay the developer less than the published rate when output from the projects is less than 90 percent or more than 110 percent of projections. Purchases that fall outside the performance band are paid 85 percent of the market price available at the time at a Northwest regional trading hub
Idaho Power’s proposed 20-year agreements with both projects do not become effective until the commission approves them and declares that all payments Idaho Power makes to Cassia Wind and Cassia Gulch for energy can be allowed as prudently incurred expenses recovered from customers in rates.
The commission will take comments on both projects through June 16 via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case numbers (IPC-E-06-10 and -11) 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 documents related to both cases are available on the commission’s Web site. Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to the above case numbers.