Boise, Idaho [RenewableEnergyAccess.com]
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved four sales and wind agreements.
Like the Idaho Winds project, both the Bennett Creek and Hot Springs projects were underway before the commission placed the limit and are thus grandfathered from the lower size.
The PUC approved a sales agreement between Idaho Power Company and Idaho Winds LLC, which plans to build the Alkali Wind Farm, a wind generation project located six miles northwest of Glenns Ferry.
The Alkali Wind Farm includes 12 turbines that will be operating by Dec. 31. Even though the maximum output of the project is 18 megawatts (MW), Idaho Winds will not generate more than 10 average MW on a monthly basis. Energy delivered in excess of amount may be accepted but Idaho Power will not be obligated to pay for it.
The project is a Qualified Facility under the provisions of the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) passed by Congress during the energy crisis of the late 1970s. PURPA requires electric utilities to offer to buy power produced by small power producers or cogenerators who obtain Qualifying Facility (QF) status.
Since Idaho Winds had submitted a signed energy sales agreement and completed a generation interconnection study before August 2005, which is when the commission reduced the size of the projects that can qualify for an avoided-cost rate from 10 average MW to 100 kilowatts (kW), it is grandfathered from the lower size limit.
In a second approval, the Idaho PUC approved a wind agreement between Idaho Power Company and Houston-based Telocaset Wind Power Producers LLC for 100 MW of wind energy needed to meet Idaho Power's growing demand. The agreement provides that Telocaset will deliver detailed forecasting data, including forecasts of energy to be delivered during the next hour, day and week, to help Idaho Power integrate the wind power into the utility's resource supply mix.
In a third announcement, the Idaho PUC approved agreements between two Elmore County wind projects and Idaho Power Co. The agreements are with Bennett Creek Windfarm LLC and Hot Springs Windfarm LLC. The developer of both projects is Glenn Ikemoto of Energy Vision LLC, based in Piedmont, California. Both projects include 12 wind turbines that will deliver an average 10 MW per month. The maximum output of the projects is 19.8 MW.
Under the terms of this agreement, Idaho Power may accept energy delivered in excess of the average 10 MW per month but will not pay for it. Like the Idaho Winds project, both the Bennett Creek and Hot Springs projects were underway before the commission placed the limit and are thus grandfathered from the lower size. Both projects, if approved, are scheduled to be operating by 2008.