Idaho Power Buys Wind Energy
We support renewable energy sources, including wind projects like the Elkhorn Valley Wind Project, which was built in response to a competitive bid process initiated by Idaho Power.
Elkhorn Valley, in northeast Oregon, has a generation capacity of 101 megawatts (MW). As with all wind energy projects, actual generation varies greatly depending on the weather.
When Elkhorn came online in 2007, Idaho Power had just 10-20 MW of wind energy tied to our system. Our long-term planning process identified a need for additional wind energy, and we now have a 20-year contract to purchase the energy from this project.
Since then, additional projects have come online under a federal law that requires Idaho Power to purchase energy from qualifying renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal. As of 2019, Idaho Power had a total of 728 MW of wind capacity tied to our system.
The rate Idaho Power pays for Elkhorn energy is set each year and escalates over the term of the contract. We expect to receive about 300,000 renewable energy certificates (REC) per year throughout the term of our agreement. Currently, the RECs are sold, and the proceeds are shared with our customers. Because the RECs are sold, Idaho Power cannot claim renewable wind energy from this project is being delivered to customers.
To learn more about how Idaho Power is studying the costs and other impacts of wind energy, read about our Wind Study.
Independent Power Producers
As of 2019, Idaho Power had contracts with 32 other commercial wind projects, representing 627 megawatts of nameplate capacity (possible energy). These are 20-year contracts mandated by a federal law that requires utilities like Idaho Power to purchase all the energy generated by certain projects. The rates we pay for energy from these projects varies, but it’s higher than the rate we pay for energy from Elkhorn.
Idaho Power does not own or operate these projects.