Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. PAC-E-09-09

January 28, 2010

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



Commission OKs Rocky Mountain purchase agreement


The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has approved a sales agreement between PacifiCorp, which does business as Rocky Mountain Power in eastern Idaho, and the developer of a small hydroelectric generating facility 40 miles north of Howe in Butte County.


The hydroelectric plant, developed by Idaho Falls-based Bell Mountain Hydro, has a capacity of 290 kilowatts, but, under normal conditions, will not exceed a power delivery of 10 average megawatts a month. The 20-year agreement stipulates that should output exceed 10 aMW, 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 of Idaho Falls.


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 Number PAC-E-09-09.