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Posts tagged: renewables

PUC ruling favors small renewable developers, but not big wind or solar projects

New rules governing small renewable energy projects in Idaho will likely make it tougher for wind and solar developers to succeed but will be helpful for new dairy digesters and small, canal-based hydroelectric projects, reports AP reporter John Miller. The Idaho Public Utilities Commission issued a 69-page decision today, establishing new ground rules for renewable power projects and regulated utilities under the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act, or PURPA, a 34-year-old federal law meant to promote alternative resources.

Under the decision,Miller reports,  solar and wind projects must generate less than 100 kilowatts, on average, to qualify for federally mandated contracts. That limit makes it more difficult for new projects to get off the ground but is a victory for utilities like Idaho Power Co. that complained they've been overloaded with unwanted wind power. By contrast, the three-member panel stuck with 20-year power contracts — utilities wanted just five-year pacts — and awarded valuable environmental credits to small developers, over utilities' insistence they were the rightful owners. This will help developers including those seeking to produce power from dairy manure by making it easier for them to win financing; click below for Miller's full report.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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