Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. GNR-E-11-03, Order No. 32665
October 17, 2012
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Partial settlement proposed for one issue in wind case
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is taking comment through Oct. 25 on a partial settlement proposed by some of the parties to a case addressing contract provisions for small renewable projects that enter into sales agreements with regulated electric utilities.
The partial settlement, signed by 13 of 25 parties, deals with only one issue in the overall case: security deposits and damages. Settlement discussions between the parties were held on that issue as well as Idaho Power’s proposed tariff to curtail wind generation during certain light-load conditions. The parties were not able to agree on the curtailment issue, but do propose a partial settlement on a proposed security deposit paid by small-power producers and damages in the event that projects do not meet their scheduled online date or default.
The curtailment issue and other issues related to the case are now before the commission, which is expected to issue a final order later this year.
The proposed partial settlement requires renewable power projects to post a security deposit, or performance bond, within 30 days after the commission issues its final order approving a power purchase agreement. The parties propose that the deposit be set at $45 per kilowatt of nameplate capacity of the small-power project.
In the event the project fails to meet its operation date, delay damages would be calculated based on the difference between the regional market rates for electricity and the rates in the power purchase agreement. Requiring new projects to pay the difference between market and contracted rates ensures the utility and its customers won’t be paying extra if the utility has to buy power on the market or generate itself to make up for the lost power due to the project’s failure to meet its online date. Projects have 120 days to cure their default before the agreement may be terminated.
The proposed security and damages provisions are applicable only to new power purchase agreements, not those already in place.
Parties to the case or interested members of the public may comment on the partial settlement through Oct. 25. Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions About a Case." Fill in the case number (GNR-E-11-03) 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 www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to the above case number.