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Developers of Idaho’s second large, utility-scale solar farm recently dedicated the Grand View Solar project, which includes about 340,000 solar panels over 673 acres and will produce enough electricity to power about 17,700 homes. The project was completed in September and has been undergoing routine testing before going online with Idaho Power any day now.

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community-solar-promopod-ens000963The Idaho Public Utilities Commission quickly approved a request by Idaho Power to launch a pilot “community solar” project to allow Idaho Power customers to buy direct shares from a new solar power project and claim their share of that power as their own. “Community solar” allows utility customers to buy a “subscription” in a solar farm and then receive a bill credit for their share of the output from that solar project. It’s particularly attractive for utility customers who might not otherwise be good candidates to install their own solar power because they rent their homes, have too much shade over their roofs, face unreasonable homeowners association rules, or due to cost or other reasons.

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Going, Going … Idaho Power Is Proposing to Retire this Nevada Coal Plant Years in Advance

It’s a long way from being a done deal, but Idaho Power has asked the Public Utilities Commission to clear the way for a possible early retirement of a two-unit Nevada coal plant that has outlived its useful and economic life. The early shutdown of the North Valmy Generation Station near Winnemucca, NV, which Idaho Power co-owns with Las Vegas-based NV Energy, has been sought by the Snake River Alliance and other clean energy advocates for many years.

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idahostatesealGov. C.L. “Butch” Otter recently issued Executive Order 2016-03, which, some might say ominously, renames the former “Office of Energy Resources” as the new “Office of Energy and Mineral Resources.”

The governor established the Office of Energy Resources (OER) through an executive order in 2007 to fulfill a recommendation made in Idaho’s 2007 Energy Plan, which suggested moving the state’s meager energy planning efforts from the Idaho Department of Water Resources to a freestanding agency under the governor’s control. OER was renewed in subsequent years through other gubernatorial orders, although clean energy advocates have long lamented the fact that neither the governor nor the Legislature support OER’s work with state funds. Instead, OER, which has withered over time due to the lack of state support, has mostly been left to chase federal or other grants to keep the lights on.

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sign-ev-plugin-stationThe Snake River Alliance has made expanding Idaho’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure one of our signature clean energy priorities. As we continue toward the inevitable retirement of the fleet of dirty, out of state coal plants that provide about 40 percent of our electricity, our attention continues to look at the next, biggest source of Idaho’s climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions: Transportation.

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