Tentative Deal Approves $216 Million for Idaho Utility
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho officials have reached a tentative agreement approving a utility company's $216.5 million in relicensing expenses for a three-dam hydroelectric project on the Snake River on the Idaho-Oregon border. The Idaho Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday said it's taking public comments through Jan. 5 on the proposed agreement with Boise-based Idaho Power involving the Hells Canyon Complex. The agreement doesn't call for a rate increase. That would take a separate request from Idaho Power also requiring the commission's approval. Idaho Power's 50-year license expired in 2005, and it has been operating the dams under annual licenses. Oregon officials are refusing to agree to the relicensing until salmon and steelhead can access Oregon tributaries above the dams. But Idaho lawmakers have prohibited moving federally protected salmon and steelhead above the dams.