The utility noted that, despite difficulties for hydro in the first quarter, in more recent months there have been near-normal temperatures and better hydrological conditions. Idacorp said that this is in ‘stark contrast’ to the extreme temperatures and drought of recent years.

Going forward, Idacorp anticipates that full year hydro power generation will be close to approximately 7000GWh, as indicated previously. However, there is greater confidence in the forecast as the range has been reduced from 6500GWh-7500GWh to now be 6700GWh-7200GWh, it said. The tighter forecast range is due to refinement in river flow estimates.

For the three months to 30 September, Idacorp Power Co reported a near doubling in earnings to US$47M, and at group level the result was US$51.7M. The group’s operating revenues were up almost 15% to nearly US$300M in the quarter.

The improved hydro power performance helped to reduced net power supply costs by US$27.2M. The costs cover fuel and purchased power but do not include off-system sales. For Q3, the latter was flat while fuel cost increased a little but purchase power spending fell by almost 28%, or US$30.6M.

Earlier this year, the utility reported that poor hydro power output from 2007 had extended into Q1 due to weak hydrology. In 2007, the hydro output was 6200GWh – one third down on generation in 2006. Following the poor first quarter, the expected output for this year was in a broad range of 6000GWh-8000GWh.