State utility regulators say they have approved a long term contract between Idaho Power Co. and a company generating power from cow manure.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission approved the deal between the state's biggest utility and Cargill, Inc., which operates an anaerobic digester near the southern Idaho town of Hansen.

Cargill operates the 10,000-cow Bettencourt Dry Creek Biofactory. Under terms of the contract, the company will provide Idaho Power with 2.25 megawatts of power over 10 years.

Cargill spent about $8.5 million to build the digester and generator facility. The digester, fueled by the methane byproduct from the manure, has been producing power since August 2008, but at inconsistent levels.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.