Water Users Wait, Watch

Published online: Mar 02, 2001
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Irrigators under the Idaho Power Company system in Idaho are waiting and watching to see if bids they have made to sell their regular summer irrigation power back to the company have been successful.

For the next week, the Idaho potato industry will be in a state of frozen anticipation to see 1) if the bids are accepted; 2) what the minimum bid will be; and, 3) what amount of acreage will be involved.

Even after the company makes a determination, it must pass the proposed conservation figures on to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for approval.

Growers were warned not to make bids over eight cents per kWh but some growers said that was too low. A rough survey shows most growers put in bids of about 12 cents. Only Idaho Power knows how many bids and what acreage they represent were turned in.

During the week, PacifiCorp, operating as Utah Power and Light Co., in eastern Idaho, also filed a request to the IPUC to offer irrigators a buy out plan. The company's formal request said it would pay 8.5 cents per kWh. UP and L said its cost analysis determined that the irrigation load reduction supports the 8.5-cent offer.