Idaho Commission Approves Power Purchase Agreement for Schwendiman Wind Farm

April 05, 2006

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved on March 24 a 20-year agreement for Utah Power (which is owned by Pacificorp) for purchase electricity from a new wind power plant built by Schwendiman Wind, LLC. The PUC approval paves the way for construction of the wind power plant, which is located near Idaho Falls and is rated at 20 megawatts (MW).

The agreement contains performance provisions, called banding, that differ from those in other utility wind cases. The agreement requires that output from the project fall within 10% of its forecasted monthly capacity. If output is less than 90% or more than 110% of projections, Schwendiman will receive a reduced payment for the capacity component of the contract. The capacity component accounts for about one-third the total compensation. And if the project generates more than 10 average MW on a monthly basis, Utah Power will accept the excess electricity but will not have to pay for it.

PUC Commissioner Marsha Smith issued a separate opinion opposing the performance band. Smith said, "I believe the banding requirements operate as a penalty, not an incentive." For more information see the PUC April 3 press release.

Source: April 5 edition of Renewable Energy Access.