Hoku Materials Disputes Fab’s Electrical Usage


Hoku Materials Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hoku Corp. that is constructing a polysilicon production facility in Pocatello, Idaho, has filed a formal complaint with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC), seeking to amend its electric service agreement with Idaho Power Co.

Hoku has asked that the PUC stop Idaho Power from disconnecting Hoku's electrical service until the parties can resolve their dispute about the amount that Idaho Power is charging Hoku. The company alleges that Idaho Power is ‘unfairly’ charging approximately $2 million each month for power not being consumed by Hoku's Idaho facility, while also demanding that Hoku pay a $5.8 million security deposit.

To date, Hoku says that it has paid more than $11 million since April 2011 for power it did not consume and has also paid a $4 million deposit to Idaho Power. Hoku also claims to have paid more than $18 million to construct the high-voltage power lines and the substation to service its polysilicon production facility.

In the complaint, the company is asking the PUC for the elimination of the minimum payments that are due each month under the electric service agreement; that monthly bills be limited to the power actually consumed by Hoku's facility; a reduction of the deposit to only $4 million, eliminating the additional $1.8 million that is being requested by Idaho Power; continued electrical service; and a refund of some, or all, of the amount that was previously paid by Hoku to Idaho Power.

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