Idaho Power Co. is seeking regulatory approval of a sales agreement with Idaho Winds LLC, which plans to build a wind generation project six miles northwest of Glenns Ferry.
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission will take comments through Feb. 9 on the proposed Alkali Wind Farm Facility, including 12 wind turbines. The president of Idaho Winds LLC is Rick Koebbe of Boise.
Even though the maximum output of the project is 18 megawatts, Idaho Winds will not generate more than 10 average megawatts on a monthly basis. Energy delivered in excess of amount may be accepted but Idaho Power will not be obligated to pay for it. The project is anticipated to be operating by Dec. 31, 2007.
The project is a Qualified Facility under the provisions of the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act passed by Congress during the energy crisis of the late 1970s. PURPA requires electric utilities to offer to buy power produced by small power producers or cogenerators who obtain Qualifying Facility (QF) status. The rate to be paid project developers, called an “avoided cost rate,” is determined and published by state commissions. The avoided cost rate 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.
In August 2005 the commission reduced the size of the projects that can qualify for an avoided-cost rate from 10 average MW to 100 kilowatts. However, Idaho Winds had submitted a signed energy sales agreement and completed a generation interconnection study before August 2005 and is thus grandfathered from the lower size limit.
Those wishing to submit comments by Feb. 9 can do so 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-06-36) 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 numbers.