Comments are being accepted through March 17 on an Idaho Power Co. application for state regulators to accept or reject sales agreements with five wind projects in the Burley, Idaho, area.
The developer of the projects, Houston-based Cotterel WindEnergy Center LLC, seeks a 20-year agreement for each project with a targeted online date of Dec. 31, 2014. The agreements state that each project would deliver up to 10 MW monthly to Idaho Power and that the developers would be paid by Idaho Power at a rate that is published by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
However, the applications for the projects were 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.
The rate proposed for the five projects is a non-levelized rate that increases through the life of the contract. In 2015, the agreements' proposed rate for normal-load hours during normal seasons of the year would be $69.19/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.
To address some of Idaho Power's concerns, the agreements state that the company can curtail generation from the projects without compensation to the developer under certain conditions. Those conditions include times when generation on Idaho Power's total system approaches minimum levels needed to serve customers and further acceptance of the wind would have a detrimental effect on the utility's ability to simultaneously manage the generation also coming from thermal, hydro and other resources.
The agreements also state 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.