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Idaho PUC Sets New, Stringent Rules for Clean Energy Projects

Dec 19, 2012
Source: 
(AP)

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.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission's 69-page decision establishes 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, 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.