Commission approves deferral for plant removal
PacifiCorp, which does business as Rocky Mountain Power in southeastern Idaho, has received approval from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to transfer Idaho’s share of costs relating to the decommissioning of a small hydroelectric facility to a deferred account.
The commission agreed with PacifiCorp’s claim that decommissioning the 6-MW power plant on Hood River in central Oregon will be less expensive than repairing it from the damage caused by last November’s extensive flooding and resulting debris. Even before the flood, PacifiCorp planned to decommission the generating facility and had received a Removal Order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The FERC order authorized PacifiCorp to continue operating the Powerdale plant until April 1, 2010 and provided for removal of the facilities by February 29, 2012. However, due to the flooding damage, PacifiCorp determined it would cost customers $1.6 million more to repair and continue operation of the plant until the 2012 removal.
The deferral account for PacifiCorp’s entire six-state territory will include both the $8.9 million undepreciated net investment in the plant as well as decommissioning costs totaling $6.3 million. Idaho’s share of the undepreciated net investment is $557,000. Idaho’s share of the decommissioning cost is $393,000.
The commission denied the company’s request that the deferral period for the undepreciated plant investment be three years. Instead, the commission said the amortization period will be set after the company files a new depreciation study, scheduled for September 2007. The amortization for the decommissioning costs will be 10 years, instead of three years, the commission ruled. The commission also ordered that any insurance proceeds from the Powerdale loss offset the decommissioning costs recorded in the deferral account.
Customer rates will not be immediately impacted by the deferrals, but will be included as part of the company’s next rate case.
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 No. PAC-E-07-04.
Interested parties may petition the commission for reconsideration by no later than July 16. 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.