Idaho Energy Update
May 23, 2008

It’s not too late to register and attend the NW Energy Coalition’s Spring Conference and Board meeting, which runs May 30-31 in Helena. Montana NWEC meetings are always worth the trip. The festivities start Friday morning with a welcome and keynote by former Rep. Pat Williams, who spent 9 terms in Congress and was one of the West’s most ardent wilderness supporters. He’s guaranteed to get you fired up for the weekend.

The NWEC meeting actually begins Thursday night at 6 with an executive board meeting, which as always is open to all. It will be at the Valley Bank downtown branch at 321 Fuller Ave. There’s a full day of keynotes, panel discussions, and caucus meetings on Friday, followed by an always-invigorating “evening reception” and then on Saturday a strategic planning roundtable and finally the full Board meeting. This is an NWEC meeting you won’t want to miss.

See below for more information on other developments.

Thanks as always, and if you have any calendar items, please send them my way!


Ken Miller
Clean Energy Program Director
Snake River Alliance
(208) 344-9161 office
(208) 841-6982 cell
[email protected]

I: NEEA Sets June 9 Strategic Planning Workshop in Boise:

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) will hold a strategic planning workshop from 10 a.m. to noon June 9 at the Idaho Power Company Auditorium in Boise.

NEEA is a nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficient products and services in the Northwest states. It is supported by the region’s utilities, including Idaho Power and the Bonneville Power Administration, as well as state governments and other entities in the region.

The Boise meeting will include a discussion of key issues on how NEEA can enhance energy efficiency and conservation efforts in Idaho. Or, as Idaho Power said in announcing the meeting: “The purpose of this workshop is to allow stakeholders and interested parties the opportunity to express their opinion on defining the goals and future path of this organization. Idaho Power would like to ensure that the views of all that are involved or affected by our NEEA partnership are represented and able to contribute to this discussion and we believe that your attendance and input will be very beneficial to the success of the workshop.”

So all who are interested in finding ways for Idaho Power and NEEA to improve on the state of our energy efficiency programs are urged to attend. But you should register beforehand if possible.

For more information about NEEA, or to register for the workshop, visit You can go to the “Participate” section and then “Workshops” and register.

II: Transmission: BLM Wants Your Views on Gateway West Transmission Line:

With apologies to those who read this on the IDPOWER list earlier:

Attached from BLM is the notice and invitation for the coming open houses to answer questions regarding the proposed Idaho Power-Rocky Mountain Power Gateway West transmission lines, which is proposed to run roughly from the Dave Johnston coal plant at Glenrock, WY, through the Bridger coal plants, across southern Idaho and to a proposed substation on the south side of the Snake River south of Nampa. An additional proposed line would run from that substation up to near the Boardman coal plant in Oregon.

This is a large (500kv) line proposed by the two utilities, as opposed to the other big, 500kv lines you may have heard about being proposed by other entities that would cross Idaho lands. The Idaho meetings are June 3 in Twin and Murphy, June 4 in Pocatello and Boise, and June 5 in Montpelier.

That attached doc has a form you can fill out to sign up for future notifications, as well as the link to the BLM Wyoming site. There is also a URL for the BLM WY page featuring the plant, including NEPA docs and a proposed corridor map.

III: BLM Issues Notice of Intent for China Mountain Wind Farm South of Twin

The Bureau of Land Management is taking comments as it prepares to begin an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed China Mountain Wind Project in southern Idaho.

The project would be located on about 30,000 acres of BLM lands (20,000 acres) and also 2,000 acres of Idaho lands and 8,700 acres of private lands – almost all of which is located south of Twin Falls. Some of the lands are in northern Nevada.

China Mountain Wind LLC hopes to build a wind farm that will generate up to 425MW of power from up to 185 turbines, each rated at between 2.3 and 3MW. The general area is in the Jarbidge Foothills, southwest of Rogerson, Idaho, and reaching down to west of Jackpot, NV.

Key issues that the BLM believes will be addressed include bird and bat impacts from the turbines, tribal concerns, many endangered and invasive species concerns, water quality, road building, fire management, rangeland resources, and other issues.

The BLM has set a June 20 deadline for comments on these or other issues. The agency will then set public scoping meetings in the region at the website below. According to the BLM’s announcement in the April 21 Federal Register: “The EIS process will be a collaborative effort that will consider local, regional, and national needs and concerns. The BLM will work closely with interested parties to identify the management decisions that are best suited to the needs of the public. After gathering public comments, the BLM will identify and provide rationale on those issues that will be addressed in the EIS or those issues beyond the scope of the EIS. The Draft EIS, which is scheduled for completion in early 2010, will be provided to the public for review and comment.”

For more information on this project, including maps and other data relating to the project, go to

On the Agenda:

► The Idaho Public Utilities Commission holds its next decision meetings on May 27, June 2 and June 9. Agendas are normally posted the day before on the Commission’s website at

► The NW Energy Coalition’s spring conference and board meeting is May 30-31 in Helena. Go to for registration and other information, including the draft agenda. See above for more information.

► The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance holds a Regional Strategic Planning Workshop June 9 in Boise. See above for more information.

► The Snake River Alliance holds a Community Dinner to discuss the national Carbon-Free and Nuclear Free 2050 campaign on June 25. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the event begins at 6 p.m. at the Basque Center at 601 West Grove Street. The Alliance will be rolling out the theme for the national Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free campaign. You’re encouraged to join the Alliance for a traditional dinner meeting. Call 344-9161 for details.