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Press release from PR Newswire

Idaho Power Request for Proposals to Provide Wind Energy Closes

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Idaho Power Request for Proposals to Provide Wind Energy Closes13:32 EDT Wednesday, August 18, 2010Diligent analysis and bidder negotiations indicate more cost-effective options.BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In May 2009, IDACORP, Inc.'s (NYSE: IDA) principal subsidiary, Idaho Power, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking to purchase approximately 150 megawatts (MW) of wind-powered generation by 2012. The RFP generated considerable interest from wind developers, and Idaho Power has been diligently negotiating a contract with the clear front runner. However, it was jointly determined that the two parties were ultimately not going to be able to reach a final agreement. On Friday, Aug. 13, Idaho Power closed its RFP without awarding a contract."In the end the RFP no longer provided a competitive resource," said Idaho Power Senior Vice President of Power Supply Lisa Grow. "Since issuing our RFP more than a year ago, the wind energy market has changed dramatically and prices for Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) acquired under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) process have decreased. In light of these changes, we expect to be able to acquire energy resources without concluding the RFP at this time."We believe it is the right decision for our customers, our company and our shareholders to not award a wind power contract at this time through the RFP process," Grow continued. "Although the RFP process concluded without a PPA being signed, Idaho Power maintains its strong commitment to renewable resources and will continue its efforts to add these resources to its portfolio."While working to maximize the value of our existing hydroelectric generation resources, we continue to remain focused on developing a balanced resource portfolio that includes adding new, non-hydroelectric renewable resources like wind, geothermal and solar," Grow said. "At Idaho Power, we're continually planning for the future and must take steps to position our company to meet upcoming obligations and anticipated regulation while considering impacts to our customers and owners."Idaho Power currently has contracted for more than 600 MW from PURPA projects that contribute to the company's resource portfolio. These PURPA renewable generation projects include hydroelectric, wind, solar and biomass. The company recently filed for approval by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) its first PURPA agreement with a solar power project. Idaho Power has a number of net metering agreements with customers who own small residential solar projects, but this project is the first sales agreement with a larger provider. Additionally, in July the IPUC approved Idaho Power requests to enter into power sales agreements with the developer of three Magic Valley anaerobic digester power projects. The IPUC regulates the terms, conditions and rates for Idaho Power's PURPA contracts.Idaho Power identified a need for additional wind resources in its 2006 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The company develops its IRP every two years using a collaborative public process connecting Idaho Power resource and planning experts with government, public, customer and environmental stakeholders. The need for additional wind resources was reaffirmed in the June 2008 IRP update and again in the 2009 IRP.Today, wind-powered generation on the Idaho Power system, including generation under contract through PURPA contracts, exceeds the wind-powered generation identified in the company's 2006 and 2009 resource plans.IDACORP, Inc. (NYSE: IDA), Boise, Idaho-based and formed in 1998, is a holding company comprised of Idaho Power Company, a regulated electric utility; IDACORP Financial, a holder of affordable housing projects and other real estate investments; and Ida-West Energy, an operator of small hydroelectric generation projects that satisfy the requirements of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978. IDACORP's origins lie with Idaho Power and operations beginning in 1916. Today, Idaho Power employs approximately 2,000 people to serve a 24,000 square-mile service area in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. With 17 low-cost hydroelectric projects as the core of its generation portfolio, Idaho Power's 490,000 residential, business and agricultural customers pay some of the nation's lowest prices for electricity. To learn more about Idaho Power or IDACORP, visit www.idahopower.com or www.idacorpinc.com.Safe Harbor StatementCertain statements contained in this news release, including statements with respect to ongoing operations, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws and are intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although IDACORP and Idaho Power believe that the expectations and assumptions reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in the statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this news release include: the effect of regulatory decisions by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, the Oregon Public Utility Commission, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; changes in and compliance with state and federal laws, policies, and regulations, including new interpretations by regulatory and oversight bodies, which include the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, the Oregon Public Utility Commission, and the Department of Energy of existing policies and regulations; changes in and costs of compliance with laws, regulations, and policies relating to the environment, natural resources, and endangered species and the adoption of laws and regulations addressing greenhouse gas emissions, global climate change, and energy policies intended to mitigate carbon dioxide, mercury, and other emissions; construction of power generation, transmission and distribution facilities, including an inability to obtain required governmental permits and approvals, rights-of-way and siting, and risks related to contracting, construction, and start-up; delays and cost increases in connection with the construction or modification of generating facilities and other capital projects; and the availability of water, natural gas, coal, and diesel, wind conditions, and their associated delivery infrastructures. Any such forward-looking statements should be considered in light of such factors and others noted in the companies' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and other reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made.  New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor can it assess the impact of any such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.SOURCE IDACORP, Inc.For further information: Stephanie McCurdy, Communication Specialist of Idaho Power, +1-208-388-6973, smccurdy@idahopower.com