An Idaho-based energy development company is asking federal authorities to declare state regulators in violation of a law intended to promote alternative energy in a case that could have far-reaching ramifications for emerging battery-storage technologies, the AP reports. Franklin Energy is seeking to build a $200 million lithium-ion battery storage facility in Twin Falls County. It contends the project, under federal law, qualifies for a 20-year contract with Idaho Power, which has more than 500,000 customers in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. But Idaho regulators twice rejected the company’s request, saying the project is allowed only a two-year contract because the batteries would be charged with solar power.
Franklin Energy says the shorter contract doesn’t offer the stability needed to make the proposed project – which includes four 25 megawatt battery storage facilities – financially viable. The company took its case to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last month after the Idaho Public Utilities Commission sided with the state-regulated Idaho Power Co. You can read a full report here at spokesman.com from AP reporter Keith Ridler.