Hoku Materials, the Honolulu-based polysilicon maker, which has been struggling to get its Pocatello solar manufacturing plant up and running, has reached an agreement with Idaho Power that would see its power bills substantially reduced.
Hoku was threanted with having its power shut off by Idaho Power for non payment of a $1.9 billion bill, due in November 2011. Hoku ended up paying the bill, but it still owed late fees and disputed what it considered to be an unreasonable rate. The manufacturer filed a complaint with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission and on Friday, Hoku settled on a plan that will see its monthly minimum energy charge reduced from $2 million to approximately $800,000. Hoku must also pay a one-time lump sum payment of $3.8 million to amend its contract.
The deal is only effective until June 2013, when the minimum $2 million monthly charge is scheduled to resume.