RAPID/Geothermal/Idaho/Power Plant

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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Idaho Geothermal Power Plant Siting, Construction, & Regulation(7-ID)

Developers must obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) before beginning construction of a line, plant, or system if they qualify as a “public utility.” The term "public utility" includes every common carrier, pipeline corporation, gas corporation, electrical corporation, telephone corporation and water corporation. IC 61-129. Electrical Corporation includes “every corporation or person, their lessees, trustees, receivers or trustees appointed by any court whatsoever, owning, controlling, operating or managing any electric plant for compensation within this state, except where electricity is generated on or distributed by the producer through private property alone, solely for his own use or the use of his tenants and not for sale to others, and excepting also, where the electricity is to be used exclusively in operations incident to the working of metalliferous mines and mining claims, mills, or reduction and smelting plants, and the transmission lines and distribution systems are owned by the consumer or where several consumers severally own their individual distribution systems and jointly own, in their own names or through a trustee, the transmission lines used in connection therewith and transmit such electricity, whether generated by themselves or procured from some other source, over such transmission lines and distribution systems without profit, and to be used for their private uses for the purposes aforesaid in places outside the limits of incorporated cities, towns and villages, and not for resale or public use, sale or distribution.” IC 61-119.

Developers must submit a CPCN application to PUC for review. The PUC will issue public notice and determine if the public interest requires a hearing on the application. IDAPA 31.01.01.113 and IDAPA 31.01.01.201. If the PUC determines that the project is for the public convenience and necessity, then the PUC will issue a CPCN for the project.

More Information

Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.

Permitting at a Glance

Idaho Federal

Power Plant Siting: None Utilization Application Process
Definition for Public Utility: The term "public utility" includes every common carrier, pipeline corporation, gas corporation, electrical corporation, telephone corporation and water corporation. IC 61-129. Electrical Corporation includes “every corporation or person, their lessees, trustees, receivers or trustees appointed by any court whatsoever, owning, controlling, operating or managing any electric plant for compensation within this state, except where electricity is generated on or distributed by the producer through private property alone, solely for his own use or the use of his tenants and not for sale to others, and excepting also, where the electricity is to be used exclusively in operations incident to the working of metalliferous mines and mining claims, mills, or reduction and smelting plants, and the transmission lines and distribution systems are owned by the consumer or where several consumers severally own their individual distribution systems and jointly own, in their own names or through a trustee, the transmission lines used in connection therewith and transmit such electricity, whether generated by themselves or procured from some other source, over such transmission lines and distribution systems without profit, and to be used for their private uses for the purposes aforesaid in places outside the limits of incorporated cities, towns and villages, and not for resale or public use, sale or distribution.” IC 61-119.
Coordinating Permit Offices: None
Public Utility Regulatory Authority: Idaho Public Utilities Commission Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Public Utility Regulatory Authority Certification MW Threshold: None
Public Utility Definition for Power Generator: The term "public utility" includes every common carrier, pipeline corporation, gas corporation, electrical corporation, telephone corporation and water corporation. IC 61-129. Electrical Corporation includes “every corporation or person, their lessees, trustees, receivers or trustees appointed by any court whatsoever, owning, controlling, operating or managing any electric plant for compensation within this state, except where electricity is generated on or distributed by the producer through private property alone, solely for his own use or the use of his tenants and not for sale to others, and excepting also, where the electricity is to be used exclusively in operations incident to the working of metalliferous mines and mining claims, mills, or reduction and smelting plants, and the transmission lines and distribution systems are owned by the consumer or where several consumers severally own their individual distribution systems and jointly own, in their own names or through a trustee, the transmission lines used in connection therewith and transmit such electricity, whether generated by themselves or procured from some other source, over such transmission lines and distribution systems without profit, and to be used for their private uses for the purposes aforesaid in places outside the limits of incorporated cities, towns and villages, and not for resale or public use, sale or distribution.” IC 61-119.

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