Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. PAC-E-09-09

December 29, 2009

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



Rocky Mountain Power seeks agreement with hydro facility


PacifiCorp, which does business as Rocky Mountain Power in eastern Idaho, is asking state regulators to approve a 20-year power purchase agreement with the developer of a small hydroelectric generating facility 40 miles north of Howe in Butte County.


The plant has a capacity of 290 kilowatts, but, under normal conditions, will not exceed a power delivery of 10 average megawatts a month. Should output exceed that amount, PacifiCorp may accept the energy but will not pay for it.


Two creeks, Bell Mountain and Mahogany, feed into a two-mile recently lined canal and 16,000 feet of new steel pipe. The water is used for both irrigation and power production. Water flow is year-round and the developer has a non-consumptive water right to generate power. About 10 acre-feet of water can be stored in the canal.


The hydro facility is already operating, with the contract, if approved, to expire in December 2029. The seller is Ted Sorenson, doing business as Bell Mountain Hydro LLC, based in Idaho Falls.


The Idaho Public Utilities Commission plans to handle this request in a modified procedure that uses written comments rather than conducting a hearing. The commission is taking comments through Jan. 8. Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (PAC-E-09-09) 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.