Raft River Unit I is located in Southern Idaho, near the town of Malta, and achieved commercial operation on January 3, 2008. The Raft River facility is a single 18 megawatt (gross) module, with a design output of 13 megawatts (net) annual average based on a specific flow and temperature of geothermal brine.
For the fourth quarter of 2016, generation was 20,039 megawatt-hours with an average of 9.1 net megawatts per hour of operation and plant availability was 100%. For the same period in 2015, the plant generated 21,755 megawatt-hours with an average of 9.8 net megawatt hours and plant availability was 99.9%. Total annual generation for 2016 was 71,991 megawatt-hours compared to 75,599 megawatt-hours for 2015.
The PPA for the project was signed on September 24, 2007 with the Idaho Power Company and allows for the sale of up to 13 megawatts of electricity on an annual average basis. The PPA has a 25 year term with a starting average price for the year 2007 of $52.50 that escalates at 2.1% per year through 2020 and then at 0.6% per year until the end of the contract in 2034. The Idaho Power PPA has a seasonal pricing structure that pays 120% of the average price for four months (July, August, November, December), 100% of the average price for five months (January, February, June, September, October) and 73.5% of the average price for three months (March, April, May). The annual average price paid under the PPA for 2016 was $63.30 per megawatt-hour, and for 2017 the price has increased to $64.63.
In addition to the price paid for energy by Idaho Power, Raft River Unit I currently receives $4.75 per megawatt-hour under a separate contract for the sale of Renewable Energy Credits (“RECs”) to Holy Cross Energy, a Colorado electric cooperative. Starting in calendar year 2018, 51% of the RECs produced by the project will be owned by the Idaho Power Company and 49% by the project. For the 49% of RECs owned by the Raft River project, a new, 10 year REC contract with the Public Utility District No. 1 of Clallam County, Washington will replace the current contract, also in 2018.