Monday, September 13, 2010

Ephraim votes for Idaho wind power contract

The Ephraim city council voted to approve a purchase of Idaho wind power at its regular meeting Wednesday. Ted Olson, newly elected chairperson of Intermountain Power Agency and board member of the Utah Associated Municipal Power System, had asked city leaders to formally approve Ephraim’s participation in a cooperative agreement to buy power from Idaho’s Horse Butte Wind Project. The sales contract will cost Ephraim an estimated $8,000 monthly until the bonds are paid off.

The Horse Butte Wind Project is located southeast of Idaho Falls, Idaho, on mountain ridges. The wind project, coupled with a federal grant, would cost about $75 per megawatt hour. While coal is less expensive than wind—costing about $45 to $55 per megawatt hour—the wind power credits can be sold under renewable energy credits. That would bring the actual cost to around $55 per megawatt hour, thus making it more competitively priced, city officials have noted. About 20 other cities are purchasing wind power from the Horse Butte Project, including Mt. Pleasant, Springville, Beaver, Santa Clara, Logan and Bountiful. The Sanpete Messenger