ID: Idaho Power IRP includes energy storage, community solar


Idaho Power has filed an IRP with a 20-year horizon and an action plan for 2015-2018. Its preferred portfolio for 2015-2034 includes: (1) early retirement of the 283 MW North Valmy coal plant in 2025; (2) completion of the B2H transmission project in 2025, which could accommodate regional renewable energy growth, in anticipation of 111(d); (3) 60 MW of demand response and 20 MW of thermal energy storage in 2030; and (4) the addition of a 300-MW natural gas plant in 2031.

For the 2015-2018 period, Idaho Power has not identified any need for additional resources. Its “action plan” for that time period is to implement pilots and pursue cost-effective energy efficiency and emissions controls, while continuing permitting and investigation for the longer-term actions described above. Its proposed pilots relate to solar, including a PV/battery pilot designed to evaluate impacts on feeders with low voltage, an ice-based energy storage pilot designed to shift peak-hour air conditioning load to off-peak periods, and a community solar program. The community solar program would be conducted outside the “needs-based” resource planning framework. Idaho Power is evaluating ownership models (utility vs. third-party) for community solar with interested parties.
Additionally, Idaho Power is in the process of conducting a 2015 solar-integration study that will not be finished prior to the completion of the 2015 IRP. Although Idaho does not have a state RPS, Idaho Power has begun tracking RECs in anticipation of federal regulation.