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PacifiCorp, which does business as Rocky Mountain Power in eastern Idaho, is asking state regulators for a larger discount from the price it must pay wind developers for their generation.

Currently, PacifiCorp discounts $5.10/MWh off the rate it pays some wind developers. The discount is intended to capture PacifiCorp's cost of integrating wind generation into its electrical system.

PacifiCorp is asking the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a discount of $9.90/MWh from the rate it must pay small wind developers who qualify under the provisions of the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA).

Under PURPA, qualifying generators of small power projects that generate up to 10 MW are paid a rate published by the PUC. That rate, called an avoided-cost rate, is to represent the cost the utility avoids by buying output from the small power project instead of generating the power itself or buying it from another power provider.

PacifiCorp's application does not apply to wind developers who enter into agreements with the utility to deliver output on a firm, hourly basis.

The Idaho PUC plans to handle this request in a modified procedure that uses written comments rather than conducting a hearing, unless customer comments can demonstrate a need for a public hearing.

Comments will be accepted through Oct. 30 and can be submitted via e-mail at puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number PAC-E-09-07.

SOURCE: Idaho Public Utilities Commission

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