Idaho Power has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) at a price of 2.2 cents per kWh. The utility has also pledged to switch to 100% renewables by 2045.
The PPA for a 120MW solar project is initially priced lower than Saudi Arabia’s Sakaka project. A potential increase in the plant’s capacity would trigger a “slightly” higher price.
There are some mitigating circumstances behind the eye-catching price.
The project will utilise the grid connection vacated by the North Valmy coal power plant, which is scheduled for a phased retirement starting this year.
The solar project is also scheduled for operation in 2022. Component prices can be reasonably expected to fall between now and then. A sub-three cents project will be completed later this year in Arizona.
Speaking about the wider objective of switching entirely to renewables, Idaho Power’s president and CEO Darrel Anderson said:
“Providing 100% clean energy is an important goal for Idaho Power. More and more customers are telling us it is important to them, too. We believe this goal is attainable. We have a great head start, thanks to our clean hydropower plants that produce almost half the energy our customers use. Our recently signed agreement with Jackpot Holdings moves us even closer.”