Company, Idaho regulators at odds over battery storage plan

By KEITH RIDLER, Associated Press • AP • Updated: January 13, 2018 at 11:09 am • Published: January 13, 2018

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A case before federal regulators involving an Idaho-based company's proposal to build a lithium-ion battery storage facility could have far-reaching ramifications for emerging battery-storage technologies.

Franklin Energy is seeking to build the $200 million facility in Twin Falls County, Idaho. It contends the project, under federal law, qualifies for a 20-year contract with Idaho Power, which has more than 500,000 customers in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon.

But Idaho regulators twice rejected Franklin Energy's request. They say the project is allowed only a two-year contract because the batteries would be charged with solar power.

Franklin Energy says the shorter contract doesn't offer the stability needed to make the project financially viable. It has taken its case to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

An attorney with the company says it expects a ruling early this year.

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