Date: February 18, 2011
Source: Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Fortistar Methane Group (Lockport, NY) is developing an additional 3.2 megawatt landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) power plant atop the Hidden Hollow Landfill in Ada County, ID. This week the Idaho Public Utilities Commission approved a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) under which local utility Idaho Power will buy the power generated by the project for $63.78 per megawatt-hour, escalating to $124.27 per MWh in 2031. The new facility will operate next to an existing 3.2 megawatt facility originally developed by G2 Energy and then sold to Fortistar in May 2008.
Commission OKs Agreement With Landfill Gas Generator
The following information was released by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission:
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has approved an Idaho Power Company application to buy power from a landfill gas generating facility at Ada County's Hidden Hollow Landfill.
The 3.2-megawatt Hidden Hollow Energy 2 facility is developed by Fortistar Methane Group based in Lockport, New York, and will operate next to an existing landfill gas-powered unit owned by G2 Energy. Hidden Hollow Energy 2 will use the same landfill gas reserves as its fuel source. "We commend Idaho Power for negotiating a contract intended to preserve the lower rates of the existing G2 contract while still allowing for additional generation to be developed," the commission said.
Hidden Hollow Energy 2 is a Qualified Facility under the provisions of the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) passed by Congress during the energy crisis of the late 1970s. PURPA requires electric utilities to offer to energy produced by small-power producers who obtain Qualifying Facility (QF) status. The rate to be paid project developers, called an "avoided cost rate," is determined and published by state commissions. The avoided cost rate is to be equal to the cost the electric utility avoids if it would have had to generate the power itself or purchase it from another source. The commission must ensure the avoided-cost rate is reasonable for utility customers because 100 percent of the price utilities pay to qualifying producers is included in customer rates.
The agreement is for 20 years with a scheduled operation date of Feb. 28, 2012. In 2012, the agreement's proposed rate for normal load hours during normal seasons of the year is $63.78 per megawatt-hour, escalating to $124.27 per MWh in 2031. The rate varies to account for heavy and light load hours of the day and heavy and light load seasons of the year.
A full text of the commission's order, along with other documents related to this case, is available on the commission's Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on "File Room" and then on "Electric Cases" and scroll down to Case Number IPC-E-10-44.