Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. IPC-E-09-33, Order No. 30986
January 28, 2010
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Idaho Power submits growth plan to commission
Idaho Power Company plans to add about 3,000 megawatts of capacity over the next 20 years to meet anticipated load growth, according to a planning document it has filed with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.
Idaho Power’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) also spells out how the company plans to reduce summer peak load by 323 megawatts by 2012, due largely to demand reduction programs aimed at commercial, industrial and irrigation customers. Energy efficiency programs are forecast to reduce load by 127 average megawatts by 2029, a 53 percent increase over measures included in Idaho Power’s 2006 IRP.
Idaho’s regulated gas and electric utilities are required to file an IRP every two years outlining how the utilities plan to meet future demands over the next 10 to 20 years. The commission is taking public comment on Idaho Power’s plan through April 15. Acceptance of the plan by the commission does not necessarily mean the commission supports all the projects outlined in the plan.
Idaho Power’s southern Idaho and eastern Oregon territory currently serves about 486,000 customers, but those numbers are anticipated to increase to 680,000 at the end of the 20-year plan in 2029.
To accommodate anticipated load growth over the next 10 years, Idaho Power plans to add 540 megawatts of new generation, including the 300-MW Langley Gulch natural gas plant now under construction near New Plymouth. The company also plans to add 150 megawatts of wind generation and 40 MW of geothermal generation. Completion of a major 500-kv transmission line from the Boardman Substation near Boardman, Ore., to the Hemingway Substation near Melba will make available another 425 MW of capacity to Idaho Power’s customers. An upgrade of the Shoshone Falls hydroelectric facility will make another 20 MW available by 2015.
Looking beyond 10 years, the company plans another 1400 MW of generation from natural gas plants and 500 MW from wind. The additional wind assumes completion of the Gateway West Transmission Project, a joint transmission project proposed by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power that would pass through southern Wyoming and southern Idaho.
In 2008, 78 percent of Idaho Power’s electricity came from existing, low-cost hydroelectric and coal resources. These resources are the primary reason Idaho Power has historically had some of the lowest retail electric rates in the nation. As Idaho Power adds new resources in the future due to load growth and reduced generation from coal, the company asserts that power supply expenses and rates are going to increase.
Idaho Power has scheduled public meetings regarding its IRP. They are Feb. 8 at Idaho Power headquarters in Boise, 1221 W. Idaho St.; Feb. 9 at the Holiday Inn, 1399 Bench Road in Pocatello and on Feb. 10 in the Red Lion Canyon Springs Hotel, 1357 Blue Lakes Boulevard in Twin Falls. All the meetings begin at 7 p.m. The meetings are conducted by Idaho Power, not the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.
Persons wishing to review Idaho Power’s plan can do so by accessing the commission’s Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on the electric icon, then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to Case No. IPC-E-09-33. Comments are accepted through April 15 via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the above case number and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.