Idacorp CEO LaMont Keen told stockholders Thursday its subsidiary Idaho Power will continue to rely on coal plants in Wyoming and Nevada at least for now.
Keen told the 10 stockholders who attended the annual meeting that it will revisit its decision in its next two-year planning process. He singled out the decision of Nevada Energy to end its investment in the Valmy coal plant it owns with Idaho Power by 2025. He said Idaho Power will ask the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to review its decision to spend millions on required pollution control upgrades on the Jim Bridger plant in Wyo.
“Without these coal plants the air conditioners won’t be on and the pumps won’t be lifting the water on to the crops,” Keen said as he answered stockholder questions.
A questioner asked Keen’s response to a decision in April by Oregon’s PUC to disallow $40,000 — 10 percent of the $4 million portion of its investment in the Bridger upgrade because of “management failures.” The Oregon commission did find the investment prudent.
“We disagreed,” Keen said describing the action as a “$40,000 haircut.
“We’re taking it as a lesson learned,” Keen said.
Ten people from the Sierra Club demonstrated outside of Idaho Power’s headquarters urging the company dump its coal help its customers offset it with rooftop solar power.
And a stockholder disrupted the meeting saying Idaho Power misled stockholders about its planning discussions on solar.
Keen criticized people who bought stock just to come ask questions at the stockholder meeting and cause disruptions. He point to five years of growth by Idacorp.
“This should be a celebration for Idacorp,” Keen said.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Darrel Anderson said Idacorp expects to continue the growth trend in part because Idaho’s economy is now growing adding new customers and increasing power demand.
“Our outlook is positive even as we experienced a dry winter and a dry spring,” Anderson said.