Developer of failed biomass project, utility propose
Idaho Power Company and the developer of a biomass
power project that was to have been built near Emmett are
proposing a settlement regarding the project's failure to
meet scheduled operation dates.
Under the proposed settlement, Montana-based
Yellowstone Power would pay Idaho Power $200,000 in
non-performance damages in exchange for Idaho Power's
agreement to not draw on a current $450,000 Letter of Credit
against the project. If Yellowstone fails to
make the payment, then it agrees to allow Idaho Power to draw
on the Letter of Credit.
Yellowstone Power developer Richard Vinson and Idaho
Power reached a sales agreement in May 2004 under which Idaho
Power would buy the energy from a 17.5-megawatt power
generation project at the site of the former Boise Cascade
Plant near Emmett. The project was a biomass-fueled combined
heat and power plant to be co-located with the sawmill.
Energy would be generated from the steam created by the
controlled burning of the woody biomass fuel.
When that project failed to meet its scheduled
operation date, the parties agreed to a smaller 11.5-MW
project at the same site when the Emerald Forest Products
sawmill opened in May 2010. That agreement, approved in
August 2010, stipulated that $106,804 in non-performance
damages from the previous project was to be offset against
the energy payments Yellowstone was to receive from the
In May this year, Idaho Power sent Yellowstone a Notice
of Material Breach for failing to meet the Dec, 31, 2011,
online date for the smaller project. Yellowstone
Power claimed a force majeure event - the failure of the
sawmill to continue operations - as the reason for not
meeting its online date.
The commission is taking comment on the proposed
settlement through July 9. Comments
are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission's
homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and
clicking on "Comments & Questions About a Case."
Fill in the case number (IPC-E-10-22) and enter your
comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720,
Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.
A full text of the commission's order, along with other
documents related to this case, is available on the
commission's Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on
"File Room" and then on "Electric Cases" and scroll down to
the above case number.