Idaho Power seeks acceptance of long-range plan
Idaho Power Co. is seeking regulatory acceptance of a 20-year growth plan, which calls for 1,300 MW of resource additions to meet the demands of its growing customer base.
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is taking comment through Jan. 22 on the 160-page document, called an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The document is for planning purposes only. The company’s resource acquisitions may change depending on responses to Idaho Power’s request for proposals (RFPs) from potential bidders and the changing needs of Idaho Power’s system.
The plan includes a 250-megawatt coal addition in 2013. Idaho Power said it does not know specifically where this addition will be located, but states that one of its best near-term alternatives for expansion at an existing coal plant is the addition of a fifth unit at the Jim Bridger Plant. Idaho Power owns a one-third share of the coal-fired Bridger plant near Rock Springs, Wyoming.
The IRP calls for 1,300 MW of resource additions as well as conservation programs designed to reduce peak demand by 187 MW and average load by 88 MW. Transmission upgrades, particularly to the McNary-Boise transmission line, will bring in more power from the Pacific Northwest, adding another 285 MW of capacity. McNary Dam, the source for the McNary-Boise transmission line, is located near Umatilla, in north-central Oregon.
Idaho Power anticipates its customer base will increase from about 455,000 customers today to about 680,000 by the end of 2025, an increase of 11,000 to 12,000 customers each year.
The company’s immediate goals for the rest of this year are to conclude a 100-MW wind RFP; notify short-listed bidders in a solicitation of 100 MW of geothermal electricity and initiate the McNary-Boise transmission upgrade. In 2007, the company plans to bring 100 MW of wind on line. In 2008, the company plans to acquire another 170 MW by expanding the Danskin natural gas plant near Mountain Home and evaluate and initiate more conservation programs. In about 2017, the company hopes to acquire another 250 MW from a regional facility using an advanced clean-coal technology called Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle. IGCC developers have expressed interest in Pocatello and Soda Springs as possible sites for the advanced coal technology. In 2023, Idaho Power may be able to acquire 250 MW from an anticipated nuclear facility at the Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho.
A copy of Idaho Power’s IRP is available on the commission Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on the Electric icon, then on “Open Electric Cases,” and scroll down to Case No. IPC-E-06-24. Under “Case Files,” click on 2006 Integrated Resource Plan.
Those wishing to submit comments must do so by no later than Jan. 22. Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (IPC-E-06-24) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.