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The Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved three energy sales agreements between Idaho Power Co. and a Boise-based wind developer who will build three wind farms in the Hagerman area.

The sales agreements are with Exergy Development Group of Idaho, which plans to build all three projects under the provisions of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978.

The three projects - Camp Reed (22.5 MW), Payne's Ferry (21 MW) and Yahoo Creek (21 MW) - are scheduled to begin operating on Sept. 30, 2010. Under the agreements, each of the plants will deliver up to 10 MW on a monthly basis, which is the upper limit of the size of projects that can qualify for PURPA posted rates.

The projects are among the first PURPA wind agreements signed since the resolution of a major case involving all of Idaho's regulated electric utilities and wind developers, according to the PUC. In addition, the contracts for these wind agreements are for levelized rates rather than non-levelized rates, meaning that the developer is paid an energy price on the front end of the 20-year agreement that is in excess of the actual energy value, PUC says.

The developer of these three wind projects has agreed to meet various security requirements, in addition to a maintenance reserve account of at least $2 million. Under the 20-year contracts, Idaho Power will pay the posted rate of $84.40/MWh during months of normal demand, which include January, February, June, September and October. During the months of heavy demand (July, August, November and December), Idaho Power will pay $102.58/MWh. During months of less-than-normal demand (March through May), Idaho Power will pay $61.47/MWh.

SOURCE: The Idaho Public Utilities Commission

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