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PUC taking comments on wind farm  

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is taking comments through Thursday on an application by Idaho Power Co. to enter into a sales agreement with Magic Wind Park LLC.

Magic Wind developer Armand Eckert of Buhl plans to install eight 2.5-megawatt wind turbines eight miles northwest of Buhl. Under the proposed agreement, Magic Wind would not generate more than 10 average megawatts on a monthly basis.

In August 2005, the commission reduced the size of projects that can qualify for a published rate from 10 average megawatts to 100 kilowatts. But because the Magic Wind project was already well on its way toward development, the commission granted the developer’s request that the project be exempt from the size limit.

Developers of renewable, small-powered projects are entitled to a rate – now about $61 per megawatt-hour – published by the commission as required by the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, or PURPA. The federal act requires electric utilities to offer to buy power from qualifying small producers of renewable energy. The published rate to be paid developers is called an “avoided-cost rate” – equal to the cost the utility avoids if it would have had to generate the power itself or purchase it from another source.

In a related case, Magic Wind is one of a number of wind projects that may be affected by the outcome of a complaint filed by Cassia Wind regarding which parties are responsible to fund upgrades to Idaho Power’s transmission system. That case, IPC-E-06-21, is still open.

The anticipated completion date for the Magic Wind project is Dec. 31, 2007.

A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, are available on the commission’s Web site. Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to the above case number.

To comment

Those wishing to submit comments must do so by no later than Thursday. Comments are being accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on “Comments and Questions.” Fill in the case number (IPC-E-06-26) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to 334-3762.

By The Times-News

magicvalley.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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