Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. PAC-E-09-05, Order No. 30864

July 29, 2009

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



PUC adopts agreement between Rocky Mountain, small hydro project


The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has approved a sales agreement between PacifiCorp, which does business as Rocky Mountain Power in eastern Idaho, and Wyoming-based Lower Valley Energy, Inc., which operates a 940-kilowatt run-of-river hydroelectric project on Swift Creek near Afton, Wyo.


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 qualifies 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 will 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 agreement is for three years, expiring on May 1, 2012.


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 Case No. PAC-E-09-05.