Boise-based Idaho Power Co., Spokane, Wash.-based Avista Corp. and Portland, Ore.-based PacifiCorp are proposing a settlement with wind developers that could resolve longstanding cost issues that have inhibited wind development.
The utilities have completed studies to determine wind integration costs and now request that the published rate for wind be discounted to allow for wind's intermittency and that 10 MW size limit of projects that can qualify for the rate be reinstated.
In addition, the utilities are proposing that wind developers reimburse them for the cost of state-of-the-art wind forecasting services and that they be allowed to require guarantees from developers that their wind generation projects are mechanically capable of generating at full output during 85% of the hours during a month.
In a related docket, the commission is taking public comment on a petition by Avista and PacifiCorp to prohibit wind projects under common ownership from reconfiguring themselves into multiple projects of a smaller size to qualify for the PURPA rate. Idaho Power Co. filed a similar petition earlier this year.