Idaho Power to accelerate North Valmy depreciation under ‘glide-path’ away from coal

Idaho Power applied Oct. 21 with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) for accelerated depreciation of its stake in the coal-fired North Valmy Power Plant in Nevada.

Idaho Power owns 50% of the North Valmy Power Plant, located near Battle Mountain, Nevada. The Valmy filing requests adjusting customer pricing to reflect the accelerated depreciable life for the power plant. Currently, the depreciable life for Valmy is based on a depreciation schedule that ends in 2031 for Unit 1 and 2035 for Unit 2. The proposed depreciation schedule would move the date of full depreciation up to 2025 for both units.

Idaho Power said its 2016 assessment of Valmy concluded it may not benefit customers from an economic and electric reliability perspective to operate the facility beyond 2025. This accelerated depreciation schedule is part of Idaho Power’s commitment to a “glide-path” away from coal, and ensures that the remaining costs of Valmy will be allocated to those customers who will benefit from this resource.

If Idaho Power uses a schedule that ends in 2025, it would result in a $28.5 million increase to accelerate recovery. This amount includes accelerated depreciation of the plant, decommissioning costs, and capital investments forecasted through the remaining life of the plant.

Idaho Power noted that in 2013, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved for NV Energy, a plant co-owner, a 2025 end-of-life date for both North Valmy Units 1 and 2. Idaho Power owns 50% (representing 284 MW) of North Valmy. NV Energy is a co-owner and the plant’s operator.

Idaho Power, headquartered in Boise, Idaho, serves nearly 530,000 customers throughout a 24,000-square-mile area in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. IDACORP Inc. (NYSE: IDA), is its parent company.

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.