The Idaho Irrigation Pumpers Association has reached agreements with both Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power regarding their separate plans to change programs that pay irrigators who curtail pumping during peak hours of energy usage.
The association's proposed settlement with Idaho Power, which has had ample energy in recent years and had no need last season to curtail irrigators, allows the utility to suspend its load control programs this season.
In exchange, Idaho Power agreed to pay participating irrigators a "continuity fee" of $4.54 per kilowatt hour previously covered by the program-17 percent of the $25 per kilowatt hour the program had paid for the opportunity to curtail. During the suspension, the parties will meet to develop a new program to commence during the 2014 season.
"The power company and the Public Utilities Commission staff were in agreement. We were going to be the odd man out, and we could kind of see the handwriting on the wall," said Lynn Tominaga, executive director of the Idaho Irrigation Pumpers Association.
SOURCE: John O'Connell, Capital Press