Idaho PUC To Hear Oral Arguments In Wind Dispute

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The Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has agreed to hear oral arguments between the developer of four proposed Cassia County wind projects and Rocky Mountain Power on June 9.

Boise, Idaho-based Exergy Development Group is asking for oral arguments in response to a motion by Rocky Mountain Power to dismiss Exergy's complaint against the utility. Exergy maintains the yet-to-be-constructed wind projects near Malta should be eligible for a higher rate from Rocky Mountain Power because it submitted a proposed power purchase agreement with the utility in January 2009, before the PUC lowered in March 2010 a published rate wind developers receive.Â

Rocky Mountain Power filed a motion to have the complaint dismissed, alleging Exergy did not – and still does not – have the necessary interconnection and wheeling agreements with Raft River Electric Cooperative and the Bonneville Power Administration needed to deliver the wind projects' output to Rocky Mountain Power territory.Â

Exergy claims it does not have the interconnection and wheeling agreements because Rocky Mountain Power, during 2009, told the project developers that the available transmission capacity from the proposed delivery point – Brady substation at American Falls – was not enough to accept more than 23 MW of net output from Exergy's four projects, which are expected to have a total of 70 MW at full capacity.Â

Exergy is asking that Rocky Mountain provide detailed explanations for the utility's alleged failure to earlier realize that transmission would not be a problem ‘and its reliance on that non-existent problem to stall negotiations,’ according to the PUC.

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