Wind Engergy Developers Weary of Idaho Power Companies
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A fight over Idaho alternative energy rules is sending out international shockwaves, with a Greek construction company saying utilities’ demands to skirt their contractual obligations to buy power from wind farms are a threat to its business. Athens-based GEK Terna said on Wednesday that curtailment will negatively affect its efforts to finance its soon-to-be-completed 138-megawatt Mountain Air facility near Mountain Home. Idaho Power Co. seeks permission from Idaho regulators for expanded authority to shut off wind farms like Terna’s during low-demand periods, arguing it will protect customers from higher costs. With the matter unresolved, lenders are wary their money is at risk. Already, Boise’s Exergy Development Group has suspended $323 million worth of projects in Idaho. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been asked to intervene, to protect wind companies from utilities’ demands.