Idaho Power receives approvals for emissions upgrades at Wyo. coal-fired plant

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The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has approved Idaho Power’s investment in emissions upgrades at units 3 and 4 of the Jim Bridger coal-fired power plant in Wyoming, but declined to provide preferred ratemaking treatment that would have guaranteed the utility recover up to about $130 million of the investment.

Idaho power was seeking authorization to invest in selective catalytic reduction controls at the plant to bring it in compliance under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regional haze standard. PacifiCorp, which operates as Rocky Mountain Power in eastern Idaho, is the majority owner of the Bridger plant and has received a certificate to install the controls in both Utah and Wyoming.

According to a statement from the commission, the preferred ratemaking treatment would have made it more difficult for Idaho Power to pull back from the investment at the two coal-fired units if additional federal or state emission controls make the upgrades no longer economical. Idaho Power must also file quarterly reports updating the commission on any changes to environmental policy or regulations until the upgrades are placed in service.

Idaho Power has estimated its one-third share of the project to be just less than $130 million, according to IPUC documents.

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