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Economic and dam related articles

Integrating Wind Energy

by Idaho Power
Customer Connection, April 2008

Idaho Power currently has contracts for more than 360 megawatts (MW) of energy from wind generation projects. One MW is enough electricity to power 650 homes.

Elkhorn Valley Wind Farm

This 101 MW wind project, located in eastern Oregon between La Grande and Baker, began delivering energy to Idaho Power in January 2008.

Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) Wind Projects

Idaho Power receives energy from three projects capable of delivering nearly 20 MW.

An additional 40 MW is under construction just east of Mountain Home. Initial construction began on 29 MW of new wind projects near Hagerman, Idaho. The other 176 MW of projects under contract are scheduled for construction between now and the end of 2010.

While wind is a free "fuel source," significant costs are associated with changes in the operation of Idaho Power's existing resources to accommodate the intermittent nature of wind generation. There also are interconnection and transmission system upgrade expenses.

Three major cases regarding wind integration costs, interconnection and transmission costs were recently resolved by the Idaho Public Utiities Commission. These include:

Idaho Power's legacy of hydro projects is a measure of the company's renewable energy resource commitment. Wind generation is a very popular and feasible form of renewable generation. However, due to the intermittent nature of wind generation, the associated costs must be recognized, understood and considred in developing a balanced mix of generation resources to meet our customer's energy needs in a reliable and affordable manner.

Idaho Power
Integrating Wind Energy
Customer Connection, April 2008

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