Commission approves wind interconnection agreements
State regulators have approved agreements between Idaho Power Co. and two wind projects in Elmore County. The agreements are interconnection agreements that divide the costs for transmission upgrades between the project developers and Idaho Power and its customers.
The projects, called Bennett Creek and Hot Springs, include 24 wind turbines with a total output of 39.6 megawatts. Construction is expected to be complete by March 15, 2008.
The projects will require about $2.15 million in improvements to Idaho Power’s transmission system. Twenty-five percent of upgrade costs will be paid by Idaho Power and 25 percent by the project developer, Energy Vision LLC. The remaining 50 percent will be advanced by Energy Vision LLC, but is subject to refund by Idaho Power over time if the projects fully meet the output requirements of their energy sales agreements with Idaho Power.
The commission said the assignment of costs balances the benefit between customers and developer. Some of the cost should be allocated to the developer, the commission said, because the projects are the cause for the timing and construction of the transmission upgrade. Further, requiring developers to pay some of the cost creates an incentive for developers to consider economic efficiencies when they decide where to site their projects.
Even though the projects qualify for a published rate under a federal program, the commission has jurisdiction over the interconnection costs and their allocation because the entire output of the projects is being sold to Idaho Power, the commission said.
The commission recently approved changes in the sales agreements for both these projects to accommodate for delays without the developer having to pay delay damages. The sales agreement originally required the projects to be online by Dec. 31, 2007. But the upgrades to Idaho Power’s transmission network that were not anticipated at contract signing pushed back the completion date.
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 www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to Case Nos. IPC-E-06-34 (Hot Springs) and IPC-E-06-35 (Bennett Creek).
Interested parties may petition the commission for reconsideration by no later than Nov. 5. Petitions for reconsideration must set forth specifically why the petitioner contends that the order is unreasonable, unlawful or erroneous. Petitions should include a statement of the nature and quantity of evidence the petitioner will offer if reconsideration is granted.
Petitions can be delivered to the commission at 472 W. Washington St. in Boise, mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID, 83720-0074, or faxed to 208-334-3762.