Idaho Power Seeks 100 Megawatts of Geothermal Power

June 21, 2006

Idaho Power issued a request for proposals (RFP) in early June for 100 megawatts of geothermal power. Although the request may seem bold for a state that currently has no geothermal power plants, the Idaho Power RFP actually allows for geothermal power developments outside of the state, so long as the power can be transmitted to the Idaho Power service territory, which covers much of southern Idaho and parts of eastern Oregon. The RFP is based on the company's 2004 Integrated Resource Plan, a biennial effort to examine the company's need for future power generation facilities or other means to meet power requirements over the following 20 years. Idaho Power prefers projects that will be online by June 2009, but will also consider other proposals that include a reasonable development schedule. The company will hold a pre-bid meeting in Boise for all interested parties on June 29th; proposals are due on August 11th. See the Idaho Power announcement and RFP.

The RFP has already benefited Idaho's sole geothermal power developer, U.S. Geothermal, Inc. The company had signed an agreement to sell 10 megawatts of power to Idaho Power from its proposed 13-megawatt Raft River geothermal power plant. U.S. Geothermal now plans to submit a response to the Idaho Power RFP, which could allow it to sell the full 13 megawatts of power to the utility. Meanwhile, the company is negotiating with the Eugene Power and Water Board for the sale of power from its second proposed geothermal plant, which will also produce 13 megawatts of power. The Raft River Geothermal Project is located in south-central Idaho, and the first plant is expected to start producing power next year. See the U.S. Geothermal press release (PDF 39 KB). Download Adobe Reader.