Utility, Solar Developer Given Deadline To Propose Corrected Price

State regulators are allowing Idaho Power Co. and the developer of a solar project until Sept. 27 to submit an amended sales agreement that corrects acknowledged mathematical errors in the current proposed agreement, according to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

Idaho Power, Interconnect Solar Development and staff from the Idaho PUC agree that there are computational errors in the proposed 25-year sales agreement between the utility and the developer of a 20 MW photovoltaic solar project, located near Murphy in Owyhee County, Idaho.

The current agreement proposes that Idaho Power pay a levelized price of $105.25/MWh over 25 years to Interconnect Solar. The cost of that power is passed on to ratepayers. After the agreement was proposed to the PUC, Idaho Power, responding to commission staff production requests, identified errors that, if corrected, would result in a price of $94.59/MWh.

Interconnect Solar argues that the PUC staff has introduced methodologies for computing prices for wind and solar projects that should be addressed in a separate case now pending before the commission that addresses many of the same issues.

Furthermore, Interconnect says the computational error should not be corrected because other considerations such as ownership of renewable energy credits and carbon offsets were negotiated based on the $105.25/MWh calculation. Interconnect Solar states that the $94.59/MWh price would no longer render the project viable.

The PUC disagreed with Interconnect Solar's request that the commission overlook the errors in light of the totality of an agreement that was successfully negotiated by both the utility and the developer.

The PUC has given the participants until Sept. 27 to propose a corrected price before making a final determination on the entire agreement.

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