Idaho Power Seeks PUC Decision Regarding Oreana Wind Project

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Comments are being accepted through April 7 on an Idaho Power Co. application for state regulators to accept or reject a sales agreement with a 5 MW wind project, located near Oreana, Idaho.

The developer of the project, Boise-based Western Desert Energy LLC, seeks a 20-year agreement with a scheduled operation date of Dec. 1, 2012. The agreement states that the project developer would be paid by Idaho Power at a rate that is published by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

However, the application for the projects was submitted to the PUC after the Dec. 14, 2010, effective date of a commission order that reduced the eligibility cap on the size of wind and solar projects that can qualify for the commission's published rate from 10 MW to 100 kW.

Western Desert Energy seeks to be paid a non-levelized rate that increases throughout the life of the contract. In 2013, the published rate for normal load hours during normal seasons of the year is $61.93/MWh, escalating to $125.89/MWh in 2033. The rate varies to account for heavy- and light-load hours of the day and heavy- and light-load seasons of the year.

The agreement states that it is up to the wind developer to work with Idaho Power's business delivery unit to ensure that interconnection facilities and transmission upgrades are completed in time to meet the projects' scheduled operation date. If the projects fail to meet their delivery dates, delay damages will be assessed.

SOURCE: Idaho Public Utilities Commission

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