Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. PAC-E-09-05, Notice of Comment Deadline

June 25, 2009

Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712



PacifiCorp seeks approval of power purchase contract with hydro facility


PacifiCorp, which does business as Rocky Mountain Power in eastern Idaho, is seeking approval of a power purchase agreement with a small hydroelectric project operated by Lower Valley Energy, Inc. in western Wyoming..


The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is taking comments through July 9 on the proposed agreement.


Lower Valley operates a run-of-river hydroelectric project on Swift Creek near Afton, Wyo., with a capacity of 940 kilowatts. (Run-of-river is a type of generation under which the natural flow and elevation drop of the river are used to generate electricity, rather than requiring a large reservoir for generation.) The project would qualify as a small-power production facility under the provisions of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, or PURPA. 


Lower Valley Energy is a rural electric cooperative with offices in Jackson and Afton, Wyoming. The Swift Creek facility is interconnected to the Lower Valley’s electrical system. Under the agreement, Lower Valley would transmit net output to PacifiCorp at the Goshen Substation in eastern Idaho over transmission lines operated by the Bonneville Power Administration.  If the project generates more than 10 average megawatts per month (the maximum output for projects to qualify for posted PURPA rates), PacifiCorp will accept the excess energy, but will not pay for it.


The proposed agreement is for three years, expiring on May 1, 2012.


The commission plans to handle this request in a modified procedure that uses written comments rather than conducting a hearing, unless customer comments can demonstrate need for a public hearing.


Comments are accepted through July 9 via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (PAC-E-09-05) 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 Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to the above case number.