Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. IPC-E-11-10
July 13, 2011
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Idaho Power seeks approval of sales agreement with solar project
Idaho Power Company is asking state regulators to approve a 25-year energy sales agreement with the developer of a photovoltaic solar project near Murphy in Owyhee County.
The 20-MW project is proposed by Boise-based Interconnect Solar. The project is a qualifying facility under the provisions of PURPA, the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978. PURPA requires electric utilities to offer to buy power produced by qualifying small power producers or cogenerators. The proposed rate for the project is based on avoided cost – the cost Idaho Power avoids by not having to generate the power itself or buying it from another source. It is the first wind or solar project proposed since a February order by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission that requires wind and solar developers larger than 100 kilowatts to negotiate the avoided-cost rate rather than rely on the commission’s published avoided cost rate.
The proposed rate is equivalent to a levelized price of $105.15 per MWh. However, Idaho Power states that the actual energy pricing stream varies throughout the term of the contract based on the month and time of day during which the energy is delivered. The price varies from a low of $65.43 per MWh during light-load hours in the first year of contract to a high of $173.23 per MWh during the last contract year and during the peak-use months of July and August. The scheduled operation date is July 1, 2012.
The parties are proposing to share 50-50 the revenue received from the sale of Renewable Energy Credits attributable to the project.
The commission is taking comments on the project through Aug. 4. Comments can be submitted by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions About a Rate Case." Fill in the case number (IPC-E-11-10) 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, is 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 the above case number.