Rocky Mountain Power plans to sell small, shut hydro facility

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is taking public comment until June 27 on an application by Rocky Mountain Power to sell a small hydroelectric project in downtown St. Anthony.

If the sale is approved, the winning bidder to buy the project, St. Anthony Hydro LLC, is seeking state approval to sell its output back to Rocky Mountain Power.

Ted Sorenson of Sorenson Engineering in Idaho Falls was the winning bidder on the project, which has not been operating since 2002 when the shaft that connects the two turbines failed. Sorenson, who owns and operates 11 small hydroelectric plants, proposes to repair the 700-kWfacility and have it operating within six months if the sales agreement is approved.

The project is a one-unit powerhouse that contains two submerged turbines originally commissioned in 1915. The facility is powered by diverting water from the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River.

Rocky Mountain Power said it considered several options, including making the needed repairs and increasing the generation of the project, making minimal repairs, and even decommissioning the facility, the commission noted. It decided that selling the project “as is” was the most cost-effective alternative for the utility and its customers. The company issued a request for proposals and heard from 31 parties with three submitting formal offers.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.