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Pledging cleaner energy, Idaho Power signs solar contracts

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Pledging cleaner energy, Idaho Power signs solar contracts

Alternative Power Development NorthwestLLC is developing a pair of solar facilities in Twin Falls County, Idaho, which have entered into an off-take arrangement with Idaho Power Co., according to filings with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.

The projects are the 120-MW Jackpot Solar project, also known as the Twin Falls Solar Project, and the 100-MW Franklin Solar project. They will be located in Rogerson, Idaho, approximately 20 miles from the state's southern border with Nevada.

Idaho Power has filed with the Idaho PUC for approval of a 20-year power purchase agreement with Boise-based Alternative Power Development, under which it will purchase the full output of Jackpot Solar with an option to purchase the full output of Franklin Solar.

Project company Jackpot Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of Alternative Power Development, approached Idaho Power in September 2018 with an offer to sell the regulated utility generation from Jackpot Solar that would be "significantly below both average market prices and Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978," according to the filing.

Alternative Power Development agreed to sell the output from Franklin during negotiations, according to the filing. Jackpot Solar is due online on Dec. 1, 2022, with Franklin Solar expected to follow exactly one year later, on December 1, 2023.

First-year pricing under the PPA will be $21.7 per MWh for 120 MW, with pricing for 220 MW at $23.11 per MWh, according to the filing. (Idaho Case No. IPC-E-19-14)

Alternative Power Development previously developed Idaho's largest operational solar facility, the 80-MW Grand View PV Solar Two project in Elmore County.

Idaho Power, a subsidiary of IDACORP Inc., has committed to transition to 100% emissions-free power by 2045 and will need to add renewable generation to replace coal-fired retirements, including the imminent shuttering of the 522-MW North Valmy Station in Humboldt County, Nev., which is 50% owned by Idaho Power and is set to go offline by 2025.

The utility also owns a 10% stake in the 585-MW Boardman coal-fired project in Morrow County, Ore., which is set to retire at the end of 2020, and a 33% interest in the Jim Bridger coal-fired facility in Sweetwater, Wyo., which Idaho Power is providing with "end-of-life scenarios."