The utility estimates that it may be able to generate 6500GWh-8500GWh of electricity in 2009 from its hydro power plants. Last year it generated 6900GWh as hydrological conditions partly improved over the difficulties in 2007 when output was 6200GWh.

Precipitation levels have been unexpectedly above normal in Idaho since early March. According to the US Dept of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the recent snow survey measurements in the state were amongst the highest recorded for the period over the last 30 years.

The utility has experienced below average hydrological conditions for hydro power generation in nine of the last 10 years, requiring the shortfall to be offset by increased levels of purchase power.

However, due to continued less than long-term average river flows, Idaho Power anticipates energy costs to continue to be above normal for this year.