An Eastern Idaho polysilicon plant has paid its November power bill but is still in arrears to Idaho Power and remains under threat of having its electricity shut off.
Late Friday, Hoku Materials, the Honolulu-based company with a facility in Pocatello, announced that it had paid $1.9 million to Idaho Power but still owed interest for its November payment and all of its December bill. Hoku had asked the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for permission to order Idaho Power to take its December payment out of a $4 million deposit. The PUC instead ordered the two parties to negotiate an amended sales contract. Idaho Power said that if Hoku does not pay its interest and December bill by Thursday, Jan. 26, the utility will be able to pull the plug.
Hoku said that a decline in the polysilicon market has prevented the plant from producing revenue, but if the power were to be shut off 160 jobs would hang in the balance.