General and Idaho
The Bingham County Idaho County Commissioners approved a wind proposal involving the construction of 81 miles of road and erecting 150 wind turbines across more than 17,600 acres of Wolverine Canyon. The area is locally designated as a Natural Resource/Agriculture district which, by definition, does not permit industrial, energy-producing, structures. The Commissioners ruled that since the wind energy facility was a "wind farm" it was therefore an agricultural use and thus permitted. The residents in the area filed an appeal with the courts. This document is one of several responsive briefs filed by the residents.
The objective of this study is to assess the costs that could be incurred by Idaho Power in modifying its operations at the Hells Canyon Complex for “integrating” or incorporating wind energy onto its system.
The intermittent and unpredictable nature of wind generation requires a utility to have generating resources available which can increase or decrease generation on short notice in order to keep the interconnected power system balanced. While hydroelectric power plants are well suited for performing this function, there are operational impacts and costs associated with operating Idaho Power hydroelectric plants in a manner that maintains reliability and facilitates integration of energy from wind generation facilities.
The issues surrounding the integration of wind generation on interconnected power systems are numerous and complex. This study provides a first step toward understanding those issues.