Idaho irrigation district awards contracts for 15-MW Arrowrock

Boise-Kuna Irrigation District has awarded contracts to advance construction of the 15-MW Arrowrock hydroelectric project at a Bureau of Reclamation dam on the Boise River.

Riverside Inc. is to supply two 7.5-MW turbines and generators to the project (No. 4656), licensed to Boise-Kuna, Nampa &Meridian, New York, and Wilder irrigation districts in Idaho and Big Bend irrigation district in Oregon, Fitch Ratings reported.

Mountain States Hydro LLC, the other contractor, will construct the powerhouse at the base of an existing 353-foot-tall dam, connecting the powerhouse to outlet pipes that run through the dam.

Construction could begin as soon as October. While contracts contemplate completion in June 2010, the parties are working with schedules that call for early completion in November 2009.

The schedules are well within a new timeline identified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which issued an order amending the project license in August to extend the deadline for starting construction to Dec. 13, 2009. (HNN 2/1/07) Construction must be complete by Dec. 13, 2012.

Fitch Ratings announced Sept. 4 it assigned a BBB+ rating to revenue bonds for the $41 million project. The rating reflects construction risk borne by the bondholders associated with building of the project.

Clatskanie People’s Utility District, a retail electric utility in Oregon, has contracted to purchase all project power, which it estimates will total 81,000 MWh per year.

The irrigation districts also own and operate the 101-MW Lucky Peak project downstream of Arrowrock Dam. Electricity generated at Lucky Peak is sold to Seattle City Light.

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