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RNP Press Release
February 21, 2008

Advocates Applaud Idaho Public Utilities Commission Settlement on Wind Integration Costs

An important impediment to the development of wind projects in Idaho was removed yesterday when the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) approved an agreement settling a long-standing dispute over the cost and ability of power systems to accommodate new wind projects. Wind developers, IPUC staff, and the three Idaho investor owned utilities agreed to a set of conditions including; the cost of accommodating wind on power systems, cost-sharing arrangements for advanced wind power forecasting services, and dependability levels for wind generators.

 
“We are very pleased with the outcome,” related Rachel Shimshak, Director of the Renewable Northwest Project, and a key intervenor in the case. “The settlement finally allows Idaho utilities to proceed with acquiring small wind projects, and it sets far more reasonable costs for integrating wind into their energy systems than originally proposed.”
 
In 2005, Idaho utilities received a moratorium on buying power from new small wind projects (under 10 average megawatts in size). The IPUC order lifts the moratorium against these small wind projects.
 
Two of the utilities, Avista Corp., and Idaho Power Company had originally performed studies resulting in cost estimates twice as high as those typically developed by other utilities around the country for wind integration. The initial studies were hotly disputed by wind advocates, represented by Renewable Northwest Project. The final settlement caps the costs utilities may deduct from wind resource energy payments to $6.50 per megawatt hour, 40% less than the original study proposal by Idaho Power Company.
 
The original orders can be found at: http://www.puc.idaho.gov/orders/recent/Final_Order_No_30488.pdf (Idaho Power)
 
http://www.puc.idaho.gov/orders/recent/Final_Order_No_30497.pdf (PacifiCorp)
 
http://www.puc.idaho.gov/orders/recent/Final_Order_No_30500.pdf (Avista)
 
 
 
About Renewable Northwest Project
The Renewable Northwest Project is a regional nonprofit advocacy organization promoting responsible development of wind, solar and geothermal resources in the Pacific Northwest.
 
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For more information contact:
Rachel Shimshak, Director
Renewable Northwest Project
(503) 223-4544
 
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