BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Power has published its long-term plan to serve its customers’ future electricity needs. The company’s latest Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) was submitted to the Public Utility Commissions of Idaho and Oregon on June 30.
The company’s 2017 IRP forecasts a continued moderate increase in customer demand for electricity in the coming years, with current resources being adequate to serve that demand through 2025.
The 2017 IRP reinforces the need for a new transmission line to allow additional electricity imports from the Pacific Northwest. It also outlines Idaho Power’s continued transition away from coal-fired resources.
An important source of electricity and generation flexibility for Idaho Power is its existing 17 hydroelectric dams on the Snake River and its tributaries. The company also owns three natural gas-fired plants and a portion of three coal-fired plants to reliably serve our customers’ power needs.
“This plan is the result of a public process that brings together stakeholder input and careful analysis to create a roadmap for continuing to serve our customers with reliable, environmentally responsible energy at a fair price,” said Tess Park, Idaho Power’s Vice President of Power Supply.
The 2017 IRP evaluates the 20-year planning period from 2017 through 2036. During this period, electric load is projected to grow by 0.9 percent per year for average energy demand and 1.4 percent per year for peak-hour demand. The number of customers is expected to increase to 756,000 by 2036 from 534,000 in 2016, requiring additional company-owned resources.
Idaho Power will coordinate with co-owner PacifiCorp for early retirement of two of the four units at the Jim Bridger coal-fired plant in Wyoming and with NV Energy for early retirement of the two units at the North Valmy coal-fired plant in Nevada. The third coal plant co-owned by Idaho Power, the Boardman plant in Oregon, is already scheduled to cease coal-fired operations at the end of 2020.
“We appreciate the many hours volunteered and the thoughtful contribution of our IRP Advisory Council (IRPAC) and from the members of the public who attended and participated in the IRP process,” said Rick Haener, Power Supply Planning Leader for Idaho Power.
The IRPAC met eight times for day-long meetings exploring the company’s electrical system and ways to meet the forecasted growth in electricity demand and the retirement of coal units. A dozen portfolios were developed and analyzed during the process.
This is the 13th Idaho Power IRP, which is updated every two years under guidelines set by the Public Utility Commissions of Idaho and Oregon. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the 137-page document during the commissions’ public review processes. Public meetings about the plan will be held across the company’s service area in the fall. The full text of the 2017 IRP is available at idahopower.com/irp.
About Idaho Power:
Idaho Power, headquartered in Boise, Idaho, and locally operated since 1916, is an electric utility that employs more than 2,000 people who serve approximately 535,000 customers throughout a 24,000-square-mile area in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. With 17 low-cost hydroelectric projects as the core of its diverse generation portfolio, Idaho Power’s residential, business and agricultural customers pay among the nation’s lowest rates for electricity. IDACORP, Inc (NYSE: IDA), Idaho Power’s independent publicly traded parent company, is also headquartered in Boise, Idaho. To learn more, visit idahopower.com or idacorpinc.com.
In addition to the historical information contained in this press release, this press release contains (and oral communications made by IDACORP, Inc and Idaho Power Company may contain) statements, including, without limitation, earnings guidance, that relate to future events and expectations and, as such, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that express, or involve discussions as to, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, outlook, assumptions, or future events or performance, often, but not always, through the use of words or phrases such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “continues,” “estimates,” “expects,” “guidance,” “intends,” “potential,” “plans,” “predicts,” “projects,” “targets,” or similar expressions, are not statements of historical facts and may be forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve estimates, assumptions, risks, and uncertainties. Actual results, performance, or outcomes may differ materially from the results discussed in the statements. In addition to any assumptions and other factors and matters referred to specifically in connection with such forward-looking statements, factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements include the following: (a) the effect of decisions by the Idaho and Oregon public utilities commissions, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and other regulators that impact Idaho Power’s ability to recover costs and earn a return; (b) the expense and risks associated with capital expenditures for infrastructure, and the timing and availability of cost recovery for such expenditures; (c) changes in residential, commercial, and industrial growth and demographic patterns within Idaho Power’s service area and the loss or change in the business of significant customers, and their associated impacts on loads and load growth, and the availability of regulatory mechanisms that allow for timely cost recovery in the event of those changes; (d) the impacts of economic conditions, including inflation, the potential for changes in customer demand for electricity, revenue from sales of excess power, financial soundness of counterparties and suppliers, and the collection of receivables; (e) unseasonable or severe weather conditions, wildfires, drought, and other natural phenomena and natural disasters, which affect customer demand, hydroelectric generation levels, repair costs, and the availability and cost of fuel for generation plants or purchased power to serve customers; (f) advancement of generation or energy efficiency technologies that reduce loads or reduce Idaho Power’s sale of electric power; (g) adoption of, changes in, and costs of compliance with laws, regulations, and policies relating to the environment, natural resources, and threatened and endangered species, and the ability to recover resulting increased costs through rates; (h) variable hydrological conditions and over-appropriation of surface and groundwater in the Snake River Basin, which may impact the amount of power generated by Idaho Power’s hydroelectric facilities; (i) the ability to acquire fuel, power, and transmission capacity under reasonable terms, particularly in the event of unanticipated power demands, lack of physical availability, transportation constraints, or a credit downgrade; (j) accidents, fires (either at or caused by Idaho Power’s facilities), explosions, and mechanical breakdowns that may occur while operating and maintaining Idaho Power’s assets, which can cause unplanned outages, reduce generating output, damage the companies’ assets, operations, or reputation, subject the companies to third-party claims for property damage, personal injury, or loss of life, or result in the imposition of civil, criminal, and regulatory fines and penalties; (k) the increased power purchased costs and operational challenges associated with purchasing and integrating intermittent renewable energy sources into Idaho Power’s resource portfolio; (l) disruptions or outages of Idaho Power’s generation or transmission systems or of any interconnected transmission system may cause Idaho Power to incur repair costs and purchase replacement power at increased costs; (m) the ability to obtain debt and equity financing or refinance existing debt when necessary and on favorable terms, which can be affected by factors such as credit ratings, volatility in the financial markets, interest rate fluctuations, decisions by the Idaho or Oregon public utility commissions, and the companies’ past or projected financial performance; (n) reductions in credit ratings, which could adversely impact access to capital markets, increase costs of borrowing, and would require the posting of additional collateral to counterparties pursuant to credit and contractual arrangements; (o) the ability to enter into financial and physical commodity hedges with creditworthy counterparties to manage price and commodity risk, and the failure of any such risk management and hedging strategies to work as intended; (p) changes in actuarial assumptions, changes in interest rates, and the return on plan assets for pension and other post-retirement plans, which can affect future pension and other postretirement plan funding obligations, costs, and liabilities; (q) the ability to continue to pay dividends based on financial performance and in light of contractual covenants and restrictions and regulatory limitations; (r) changes in tax laws or related regulations or new interpretations of applicable laws by federal, state, or local taxing jurisdictions, the availability of tax credits, and the tax rates payable by IDACORP shareholders on common stock dividends; (s) employee workforce factors, including the operational and financial costs of unionization or the attempt to unionize all or part of the companies’ workforce, the impact of an aging workforce and retirements, the cost and ability to retain skilled workers, and the ability to adjust the labor cost structure when necessary; (t) failure to comply with state and federal laws, regulations, and orders, including new interpretations and enforcement initiatives by regulatory and oversight bodies, which may result in penalties and fines and increase the cost of compliance, the nature and extent of investigations and audits, and the cost of remediation; (u) the inability to obtain or cost of obtaining and complying with required governmental permits and approvals, licenses, rights-of-way, and siting for transmission and generation projects and hydroelectric facilities; (v) the cost and outcome of litigation, dispute resolution, and regulatory proceedings, and the ability to recover those costs or the costs of operational changes through insurance or rates, or from third parties; (w) the failure of information systems or the failure to secure data, failure to comply with privacy laws, security breaches, or the direct or indirect effect on the companies’ business or operations resulting from cyber attacks, terrorist incidents or the threat of terrorist incidents, and acts of war; (x) unusual or unanticipated changes in normal business operations, including unusual maintenance or repairs, or the failure to successfully implement new technology solutions; and (y) adoption of or changes in accounting policies and principles, changes in accounting estimates, and new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or New York Stock Exchange requirements, or new interpretations of existing requirements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor can it assess the impact of any such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Readers should also review the risks and uncertainties listed in IDACORP, Inc.’s and Idaho Power Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports the companies file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including (but not limited to) Part I, Item 1A – “Risk Factors” in the Form 10-K and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and the risks described therein from time to time. IDACORP and Idaho Power disclaim any obligation to update publicly any forward-looking information, whether in response to new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.