Another PacifiCorp lawsuit

The federal government plans to sue PacifiCorp for nearly $1 billion in costs related to the 2020 wildfires in southern Oregon and northern California;  the company is trying to negotiate a settlement.

According to an Associated Press report, the pending lawsuits were disclosed in an annual report from the parent company, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, on Monday. The utility company has already agreed to pay hundreds of millions in lawsuits related to the 2020 fires.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy said the Department of Justice is seeking $625 million in suppression and cleanup costs that followed the Archie Creek and Susan Creek fires. Oregon’s Justice Department said it also wants $109 million in damages for those fires, and the Forest Service has asked PacifiCorp for $356 million for suppression and damages over the Slater Fire — which started in California and then burned over the state line into Oregon.

The company estimates that its utilities face at least $8 billion in claims from all the wildfire lawsuits already filed, but damages could be doubled or even tripled in some of those cases.

Other PacifiCorp lawsuits over the Labor Day 2020 fires are detailed HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

The PacifiCorp website says the company leads in wildfire mitigation, and its system-wide, six-state plan includes in-house emergency management and meteorology and data science teams — and features the installation of over 450 weather stations, grid hardening, fire-risk modeling software, and an “enhanced” vegetation management program.

“The safety of our employees, customers, and communities remains our top priority,” declares PacifiCorp.

Meanwhile in southeast Idaho, renewable energy developer NorthRenew Energy has sold its 300-MW-plus Arco Wind and Solar project in southeast  Idaho to PacifiCorp. This is NorthRenew’s ninth project sale since the company’s inception in 2017.

NorthRenew energy projects
NorthRenew energy projects

Renewables Now reported last week that the project in Bingham and Bonneville counties is designed with a storage capacity of more than 300 MW of wind and solar power, but could be expanded by as much as 800 MW of solar energy in the future. The project acquisition extends PacifiCorp’s diverse mix of generating resources across its system spanning the western states of Oregon, Washington, California, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.

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