Idaho Power Files Application with Idaho Public Utilities Commission Regarding Advanced Metering Infrastructure
BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 4 /EMWPresswire/ -- IDACORP, Inc. (NYSE: IDA) principal subsidiary Idaho Power today filed a request with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to install Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology throughout its service territory. The three-year AMI program would convert nearly all of the current power meters in Idaho Power's service area to a technologically advanced model, or "smart meter" that will allow for both present and future benefits to the company and its customers. The immediate benefits include fully automated meter reading and an improved outage management system. Additionally, the new metering infrastructure will provide a foundation for future customer programs and pricing choices. "AMI will provide a platform from which Idaho Power can launch other customer benefits," said Idaho Power Vice President for Regulatory Affairs Ric Gale. "But additional investments will be required before wide scale pricing and other applications can become a reality." Idaho Power proposes to install AMI throughout its service area through a systematic three-year deployment schedule starting in January 2009 and concluding in 2011. The Company estimates the project will cost up to $71 million over the three-year schedule. Approximately two-thirds of the estimated project costs are included in the Company's 2008 - 2010 capital expenditure guidance, reflecting the first two years of project expenditures in 2009 and 2010. The Company noted that today's filing does not seek a change in customer rates at this time, but that rate impacts will be addressed in subsequent proceedings after a deployment plan is approved by the Commission. Background Information / Safe Harbor Statement Boise, Idaho-based IDACORP, 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. Certain statements contained in this news release, including statements with respect to future earnings, ongoing operations, and financial conditions, are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws. 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 include: changes in and compliance with governmental policies, including new interpretations of existing policies, and regulatory actions and regulatory audits, including those of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, and the Oregon Public Utility Commission with respect to allowed rates of return, industry and rate structure, day-to-day business operations, acquisition and disposal of assets and facilities, operation and construction of plant facilities, provision of transmission services, including critical infrastructure projects and reliability standards, relicensing of hydroelectric projects, recovery of power supply costs, recovery of capital investments, present or prospective wholesale and retail competition, including but not limited to retail wheeling and transmission costs, and other refund proceedings; changes arising from the Energy Policy Act of 2005; changes in tax laws or related regulations or new interpretations of applicable law by the Internal Revenue Service or other taxing jurisdiction; litigation and regulatory proceedings, including those resulting from the energy situation in the western United States, and penalties and settlements that influence business and profitability; changes in and compliance with laws, regulations, and policies including changes in law and compliance with environmental, natural resources, endangered species and safety laws, regulations and policies and the adoption of laws and regulations addressing greenhouse gas emissions or global climate change; global climate change and weather variations affecting customer demand and hydroelectric generation; over-appropriation of surface and groundwater in the Snake River Basin resulting in reduced generation at hydroelectric facilities; 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; operation of power generating facilities including performance below expected levels, breakdown or failure of equipment, availability of transmission and fuel supply; changes in operating expenses and capital expenditures, including costs and availability of materials, fuel and commodities; blackouts or other disruptions of Idaho Power Company's transmission system or the western interconnected transmission system; impacts from the formation of a regional transmission organization or the development of another transmission group; population growth rates and other demographic patterns; market prices and demand for energy, including structural market changes; fluctuations in sources and uses of cash; results of financing efforts, including the ability to obtain financing on favorable terms, which can be affected by factors such as credit ratings and general economic conditions; actions by credit rating agencies, including changes in rating criteria and new interpretations of existing criteria; changes in interest rates or rates of inflation; performance of the stock market and changes in interest rates, which affect the amount of required contributions to pension plans, and the reported costs of providing pension and other postretirement benefits; increases in health care costs and the resulting effect on medical benefits paid for employees; increasing costs of insurance, changes in coverage terms and the ability to obtain insurance; homeland security, acts of war or terrorism; natural disasters and other natural risks, such as earthquake, flood, drought, lightning, wind and fire; adoption of or changes in critical accounting policies or estimates; and new accounting or Securities and Exchange Commission requirements, or new interpretation or application of existing requirements. 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 December 31, 2007, and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2008, 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.
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