Idaho Power, wind supporter duel over the Internet

Wind development in Idaho is all but over but the fight between wind power supporter and Idaho Power goes on via the Internet.

A wind power supporter’s website arguing the case of an Idaho engineer, whose wind development plans were foiled by Idaho Power Co., prompted the company to respond on its own website.

Kiki Tidwell, President, Tidwell Idaho Foundation, posted the story of Brian Jackson, who had signed a contract with Idaho Power before a deadline set by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. But Idaho Power didn’t turn it in until the day after the deadline and the PUC denied him approval of the power purchase agreement he needed to move forward.

Jackson, a former Idaho Power employee, got caught in the utility’s fight against wind developers it said were overwhelming its ability to integrate all of the wind that was coming on the system on 2010. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled in Jackson’s favor but Idaho Power argues he has to renegotiate the contract.

So Idaho Power has responded on its own web site, established to tell its customers how bad wind power is for them.

Tidwell’s web page also target’s Idaho Power’s dependence on coal power wheeled into Idaho for its customers from Wyoming. But Idaho Power ignored her coal comments.

Interesting View Point

Idaho Power makes it seem that the contract was provided to them at the last minute and needed time to review.

According to Jackson he was provided the contract by Idaho Power, which he signed. Idaho Power then held on to the contract that they wrote so they could review it.

Sounds like the business that holds up your payment in their office, then charges you a late payment because they deposited it after the due date. Only we know a utility wouldn't do that.

To Clarify

This is Bill Shawver, director of corporate communications for Idaho Power. In his column, Mr. Barker fails to make clear that Idaho Power signed the contract in question within one day of receiving it from the developer, and filed it with the IPUC the following day.

I hope readers will take the time to read our response to this matter at www.getpluggedin.com. On this issue, as with all our business practices, we are being completely transparent.

Fostering an open dialogue on energy issues was the impetus behind GetPluggedIn and not, as Mr. Barker claims, to berate wind power. To that end, we invite comments that are contrary to our own views and do not censor them. The internet allows everyone a voice; I would urge readers to hear both sides of the story before drawing conclusions.

Cool story bro

That seems like sort of an irrelevant point to make clear, since it in no way invalidates the claim that Idaho Power submitted the contract to IPUC a day after the deadline. Let's talk about being misleading though, while we're on the subject.

Barker links to a page at getpluggedin.com that says "These contracts would obligate Idaho Power customers to pay more than $200 million over the course of 20 years." So I divide 200,000,000 by 495,570 (the number of total customers Idaho Power reports), and I get 403.58. Divide 403 by 20 and I get a $20.18 per year rate increase. Do I need to divide the $20.18 by 12 to really make my point? Just assuming I do, that brings the total per month rate increase to $1.68.

If Idaho Power is so sure of itself here why are the hugely inflated versions of cost being presented, instead of numbers that would be more immediately relevant to your customers? I'm not familiar with this issue at all, but after reading the two versions of the story presented here all I can conclude is that Idaho Power is doing a fine job making itself seem less than forthright, and needs no assistance from Barker or Jackson on that front.

Your pal, Pskip

"...we invite comments that are contrary to our own....

and do not censor them." = a distinct difference between Idaho Power and the Idaho Daily Statesman.

"Communications"?

Mr. Shawver, I don't believe Idaho Power is "being completely transparent" as you state.

On the website, getpluddedin.com:
About Us
GetPluggedIn.com is an online community devoted to Smart Energy – the production, transmission, delivery and use of resources both finite and sustainable, as well as discussion of the impact all energy choices have on the environment.

Our goal is an improved understanding of energy issues through topic-centric resources, subject matter expert blogs, and online forums open to a variety of views from the community-at-large.

***

NO WHERE does it mention Idaho Power in the About Us.

The "Contact Us" page does not lead to/show Idaho Power.

The ONE small logo of Idaho Power in the lower right corner, and the text in the Privacy/Terms pages using the words "Sponsored by Idaho Power" is misleading.

"Sponsored by"--- that can be a Little League team.
Is gettingplugged.com a separate entity getting donations and funding from Idaho Power? It's not listed on the state's business web site.

The site says it is "a service of Idaho Power".

If you want to be completely transparent, put the logo in the header and describe the reasons for doing it in the "About Us" page. Stop with the small print legal disclaimer.

***

"Director of Corporate Communications"...
Titles are capitalized....
Maybe when The Statesman fires Rocky, you can apply there. ;-)

idahopower.com

Rock writes, "So Idaho Power has responded on its own web site, established to tell its customers how bad wind power is for them."

On its own web site [hyperlink]?!

Idaho Power's own web site is www.idahopower.com.

This is MISLEADING because it is poorly written.

getpluggedin.com barely admits any ownership to Idaho Power/IdaCorp. Even if it was more "transparent" it is a site owned and created by Idaho Power, not Idaho Power's website.

***

After reading the above post by Bill Shawver, granted the linked site is obviously Idaho Power's work. That could be explained in the original post.

"Breaking Wind"-you gotta laugh.

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