Wind Developers: Idaho Power 'Scaring' Customers

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Saying that tens of thousands of Idahoans were "being harmed," counsel for Idaho Power fired their opening salvos Tuesday in the first of a three-day Public Utilities Commission hearing, pitting Idaho's largest utility against alternative energy developers.

The Associated Press reports that IdaCorp, parent of Idaho Power, has banded together with Avista Corp. and Rocky Mountain Power to push back against proposed rules that the utilities said require "too much money" being paid for alternative energy.

"What this proceeding is about is the proper price," Donovan Walker, Idaho Power senior counsel, told the AP. "We believe it has been priced improperly and our customers are being harmed."

But attorney Peter Richardson, representing Exergy Development Group, told PUC commissioners that IdaCorp is trying to scare its customers through an aggressive public-relations campaign, which claims that consumers could pay an extra $850 million over the next decade for power from existing wind projects.