Idaho Power Co. plans to add about 3,000 MW of capacity over the next 20 years to meet anticipated load growth, according to a planning document filed with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.
Idaho Power's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) also spells out how the company plans to reduce summer peak load by 323 MW by 2012, due largely to demand reduction programs aimed at commercial, industrial and irrigation customers. Energy efficiency programs are forecast to reduce load by 127 average megawatts by 2029, a 53% increase over measures included in Idaho Power's 2006 IRP.
Idaho's regulated gas and electric utilities are required to file an IRP every two years outlining how the utilities plan to meet future demands over the next 10 to 20 years.
The commission is taking public comment on Idaho Power's plan through April 15. Acceptance of the plan by the commission does not necessarily mean the commission supports all the projects outlined in the plan.
Idaho Power's southern Idaho and eastern Oregon territory currently serves about 486,000 customers, but those numbers are anticipated to increase to 680,000 at the end of the 20-year plan in 2029.
To accommodate anticipated load growth over the next 10 years, Idaho Power plans to add 540 MW of new generation, including the 300-MW Langley Gulch natural gas plant now under construction near New Plymouth. The company also plans to add 150 MW of wind generation and 40 MW of geothermal generation. Completion of a major 500-kv transmission line from the Boardman Substation near Boardman, Ore., to the Hemingway Substation near Melba.
Looking beyond 10 years, the company plans another 1400 MW of generation from natural gas plants and 500 MW from wind. The additional wind assumes completion of the Gateway West Transmission Project, a joint transmission project proposed by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power that would pass through southern Wyoming and southern Idaho.