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The Idaho Public Utilities Commission may soon approve a settlement agreement committing Idaho Power to pursue full closure of the North Valmy coal plant in Nevada by 2025. The Alliance has pushed for full closure as soon as 2021 and strongly supports this action. The North Valmy coal plant was once expected to close in 2035. Now, because of the failing economics of coal, Idaho Power wants to move up the target date. The utility has correctly concluded closure will reduce costs and is best for ratepayers in the long run.

Public support is needed because Idaho Power can’t do this alone. Plant co-owner Nevada Power has not agreed to that timeline and Idaho regulators must lead the way. North Valmy produces 4 million tons of carbon dioxide and 7,000 tons of sulfur dioxide each year. Closing this facility will improve regional air quality and public health. Closing North Valmy will require speeding up depreciation schedules causing a small (1.17%) rate increase through 2028. Closing the plant will also save approximately $20 million a year and reduce long-term rates.

Take Action: Send your comments today to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission in support of closing North Valmy and saving money for consumers. Go to: www.puc.idaho.gov — under “Consumers” click “Case Comment or Question Form” and complete the form using Case Number: IPC-E-16-23. Send a copy of comments to Idaho Power as well: dockets@idahopower.com

Points to make in your comments:

  • Support action by Idaho Power to continue a “glide path” away from coal by closing North Valmy completely by 2025.
  • Support efforts to further evaluate a the full closure date of 2021.
  • Support changing the depreciation schedule so Idaho Power can speed up the transition and save money in the long run.
  • Encourage the IPUC to work with all electric utilities to begin planning to transition to 100% safe, clean and renewable energy as soon as practicable.

The IPUC public comment period closes May 25th.

If you are “pro-solar” in the Treasure Valley but can’t install solar at your home or business through the Solarize the Valley program, we encourage you to consider going solar through Idaho Power’s Community Solar Pilot program. A 500 kilowatt solar array is planned to be build in South Boise. Subscriptions can be purchased for a one-time up-front payment of $562 per subscription, or in 24 monthly installments of $26.31. According to Idaho Power for each subscription, the average residential credit will be around a couple of dollars per month, (higher in the summer, lower in the winter). Based on current projections, it adds up to about $23 per year per subscription, which means you may recoup the original subscription cost over the 25-year life of the project.You will then receive credits on your bill for 25 years.

Please note that you have to choose — you can either net meter solar at your home/ business OR be enrolled in the community solar program. The Community Solar Project is most appropriate for renters, people who have small power bills or those who expect to stay in the community but move to a different residence in the future.

The Alliance kicks off Solarize the Valley 2017 with an information workshop. You’ll learn about rooftop solar, net metering, powering your electric vehicle, Solarize the Valley’s pricing and process, you’ll meet the installers and get your questions answered. Plus, we’ll be providing refreshments.

Solarize the Valley Workshop
Thursday, May 18, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Anser School, 202 E 42nd St, 83714

Upcoming workshops are June 1 and June 13.

Solarize Open House in NW Boise
Saturday, May 20, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
4432 W Bloom St, 83703

Pat and Andy Acks installed a 5.13 kw solar system on the roof of their NW Boise home in 2016 with Solarize the Valley. The system provides all of their electricity, including charging their electric vehicle. Please come take a look, talk to Andy and Pat and learn all about Solarize at this Open House.

 

We’ve teamed up with local solar installers Alt Energy and Bluebird Solar and Light to offer a hassle-free, competitively-priced, limited-time offer for solar installation on your home or business. You’ll get premium solar panels installed by local experts at a price that can’t be beat. We all benefit by supporting local businesses, creating jobs, and reducing our carbon footprint. Together we have a bigger impact!

Thank you to our community partners, Boise Co-op, Sierra Club, Idaho Smart Growth, League of Women Voters, Conservation Voters for Idaho, Idaho Conservation League and US Green Building Council Idaho Chapter, Funky Taco, Idaho Organization of Resource Councils, North End Organic Nursery and Fresca.

The Annual Meeting and Boise Spring Dinner will be held on May 13th, 2017. The event will feature live music by Hillfolk Noir, one of Idaho’s best local bands. Dinner will be a delicious Himalayan vegetarian meal prepared by Momo Café. Beer and wine will also be available.

The event begins at 5:15 p.m. at the Ahavath Beth Israel Community Center, 11 N. Latah St., in Boise with an Electric Vehicle Exhibition and an Organic Plant Sale. Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. with a short updates and discussion about the threat of nuclear waste in Idaho, and the 2017 Solarize the Valley campaign. Tickets are $20 per person ($15 for Alliance members) and can be purchased here or at the door. $10 for youth under 18 and free for kids under 5.

Thanks to Peaceful Belly, North End Organic Nursery and Draggin’ Wing Farm for providing plants. Thanks to Payette Brewing for the beer. Thanks to Hillfolk Noir for their time and talents!

Snake River Alliance & Partners Solarize the Valley

Public Workshops Announced

BOISE, ID – May 8, 2017 –

Solar energy in Idaho is growing by leaps and bounds. Over the last two years several new commercial-sized solar arrays have been built in the Idaho Power service area. Idaho Power launched a pilot program offering to sell shares of a 500 kw community solar array to interested customers. By the end of 2016, the energy produced by solar in Idaho was enough to power 29,000 homes.

SRA Director Wendy Wilson announces 2017 Solarize the Valley

Today, the nonprofit group the Snake River Alliance launched the 2017 Solarize the Valley campaign. This will help even more citizens go green by installing rooftop solar across the Treasure Valley. In 2016, the first year of the project generated approximately $1 million of private investment in green energy for a total installed capacity of 314kW.

This year the Alliance’s goal is higher – to help at least 50 homes install over 350kW of solar panels. The group is offering free solar site assessments on a first-come, first-served basis starting May 8th. Two local companies, AltEnergy and Bluebird Solar and Light, will conduct the assessments and provide installation.

The Alliance has pre-negotiated prices, warranties and technical details for high quality, North American-made solar panels.  Interested homeowners and businesses should sign up online at www.solarizethevalley.org. These prices are available only for a short time. People in Ada and Canyon Counties are eligible for these prices if they sign up before July 31, 2017. People in nearby counties can also sign up for an assessment but prices may vary. For more information call 208 344 9161.

Over the next two months, the Alliance will hold public workshops to introduce residents to the Solarize the Valley program.

Public Workshops:

May 18 at Anser Public Charter School at 202 E 42nd St, Garden City, ID.

June 1st at the Boise Consumer Food Coop in the Village at Meridian.

June 13 at Riverstone International School at 5521 Warm Springs Ave, Boise, ID.

Workshops begin at 6:30 p.m.

Wendy Wilson, director of the Snake River Alliance said, “Solar panel prices have come down again this year and even more people are motivated to go solar.  This campaign makes it easier for them to take action.  It simplifies the process of investing in solar and ties into the existing Idaho Power net-metering program,”

The Snake River Alliance is a nonprofit, charitable organization with over 1,000 members in Idaho and across the country. For 38 years, the group has advocated for responsible handling of nuclear waste, energy conservation and clean energy.

Solarize the Valley 2017 Community Partners include Idaho Smart Growth, League of Women Voters, Conservation Voters for Idaho, Idaho Conservation League, Sierra Club, US Green Building Council Idaho Chapter, and the Boise Co-op.

Phil and Patti Bellan installed rooftop solar thru Solarize the Valley 2016 and now charge their electric vehicle with clean solar energy.