(ADPnews) – Sep 21, 2010 - US utility Idaho Power has struck a deal to purchase 10 MW of power from a California solar park, its first power purchase agreement (PPA) for this technology.
The power plant will be constructed by California-based developer Grand View Solar PV One on land leased from a lumber company southeast of the state capital Boise. It will be paid an avoided-cost rate under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) of 1978 set at USD 77.77 (EUR 59.41) per MWh for 2011, rising to USD 128.31/MWh for 2031.
The rate reflects the cost the utility avoids if it would have had to generate the power itself or purchase it from another source. It is adjusted for heavy- and light-load seasons as well as heavy- and light-load hours. The planned monthly output for the project varies from 1,326 MWh in January to 4,816 MWh in July.
Projects eligible for the avoided-cost rate should have a capacity of up to 10 MW. The Grand View project is rated at 20 MW but it is not expected to exceed a 10 MW monthly average due to the intermittency of wind power. If it does, Idaho Power will accept the energy but will not be required to pay for it.
California has set a 20% renewable portfolio standard (RPS) for 2010, rising to 33% by 2020.