The contract, approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, is the first large contract in the state under PURPA, the Power Utility Regulatory Policies Act, passed by Congress during the power crisis in 1978.
All previous Idaho Power PURPA wind projects have been 10 MWs or smaller.
Larger projects may still qualify if the developer and the utility are able to negotiate a cost that closely matches the utility’s ‘avoided cost’.
The negotiated levelised electricity price in the 25-year agreement is $71.29 per MWh. The Seattle Ridgeline Energy project is to start operating by December 31, 2011 and use Vestas V100 turbines.