Idaho Irrigators Wait Word

Published online: Mar 13, 2001
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Idaho pump/irrigators are waiting word expected today or Wednesday on whether or not the Idaho Public Utilities Commission will accept power buy back bids.

Idaho irrigators were given the opportunity by Idaho Power Co., (and also by PacifiCorp which serves most of eastern Idaho) to submit bids on the price per kWh they would take to sell the power they would normally use back to the companies.

The energy conservation effort was designed to help the companies meet peak summertime loads and help defray the expense of buying power from other power companies.

More than 900 of 1,700 possible Idaho irrigators submitted bids and 360 were accepted by Idaho Power Company. If the IPUC accepts the 360 bids, it will allow Idaho Power to save 410,000 mgWh of power. The buy-back offer would also represent 25 percent of the Company's summer irrigation load.

The buy back would also idle about 136,000 acres of irrigated land. Whether or not it would be potato ground is unknown. There are projections it would not affect potato ground to be planted this spring because much of it is already marked-out and treated for nematodes and wireworm.