IPCo. Asks Wind Power Reliefby Patricia R. McCoy
Capital Press, June 24, 2005
Idaho Power Co. is asking the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to temporarily suspend legal requirements forcing the utility to purchase power from small, wind-powered electricity generation facilities.
Time is needed to analyze the financial and operational impacts of the continued growth of such facilities, IPCo. said in its June 17 petition.
"In our judgment the IPUC cannot conduct a review of reliability issues and costs associated with wind power without first instituting a temporary suspension of these mandatory purchase obligations," said Jim Miller, IPCo. senior vice president for power supply. "The sharp growth of these kinds of facilities makes it imperative that they do so."
The facilities of concern are wind projects smaller than 10 megawatts, known as qualifying facilities under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act, Miller said. That law requires utilities to purchase electricity generated by small power production facilities that either use renewable fuels or produce electricity as a byproduct of another industrial process.
The petition is intended to help IPCo. and the IPUC balance over 275 megawatts of power from current and proposed small projects with the rest of IPCo.'s power supply, and determine the fairness of prices currently paid for power from these projects, he said.
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