Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. IPC-E-11-18, Order No. 32387
December 30, 2011
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Idaho Power files cost plan on Boardman shutdown
Idaho Power Company is asking state regulators to approve an accounting and cost recovery plan for expenses associated with the shutdown of the Boardman Power Plant in Oregon. Idaho Power owns 10 percent of the coal-fired power plant in north-central Oregon, due to be closed in 2020.
Idaho Power estimates a revenue deficiency of about $1.4 million in its Idaho jurisdiction due to accelerated depreciation of Boardman plant accounts, decommissioning costs and pollution control investment. The utility is not seeking rate recovery at this time, but indicates it will ask the Idaho Public Utilities Commission in 2012 to recover costs from customers at the same time as the annual Power Cost Adjustment (PCA), a credit or surcharge that becomes effective June 1.
Idaho Power’s share of the Boardman plant is about 10 percent, or 58.5 megawatts. Portland General Electric (PGE) owns 65 percent. Boardman is subject to the federal Clean Air Act, Oregon’s Regional Haze Plan and Oregon’s Utility Mercury Rule, requiring the plant to be fitted with various emissions controls. After analyzing each of the Boardman-related control technologies and their deadlines, PGE determined that closing the plant would be the most cost-effective approach. Doing so in 2020 would allow enough time to find other energy sources without impacting customer reliability. Even under the 2020 closure plan, plant owners still must install new burners and scrubbers to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and sulfur dioxide emissions by 50 percent.
Idaho Power is proposing to complete a depreciation study in 2012 and establish a balancing account to track costs and benefits related to closure. According to Idaho Power, the balancing account will help the company track, on a cumulative basis, the difference between revenues and expenses to ensure customers pay only for actual expenditures.
The commission is taking comments on Idaho Power’s plan through Jan. 13. Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions About a Case." Fill in the case number (IPC-E-11-18) 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.