If you need proof that Idaho clean energy champions never disappoint, look no further than the Snake River Alliance’s successful solar program to help southwest Idaho residents install sun power on their on rooftops and become more energy self-sufficient in the bargain.
The Alliance’s groundbreaking “Solarize the Valley” program to boost rooftop solar installations on Idaho homes far exceeded expectations. We set a target of 250 kilowatts (kW) of new rooftop solar installations, and we’re closing in on 300 kW! That translates to $911,513 in new rooftop solar investments in Ada and Canyon counties alone, and our tireless solar installer partner, AltEnergy, reports it added five new positions to meet this new demand for solar power.
Combined with the pioneering “Solarize Blaine” campaign to install new residential and commercial rooftop solar, the two initiatives have surpassed $1.5 million in new, privately funded, rooftop solar installations in Ada, Canyon, and Blaine counties alone. Organizations are still working with solar installer partners to complete contracts and schedule installations, and will then look ahead to possibly expanding the program to other areas in 2017.
“We aimed high, and Idahoans responded like they always do,” Snake River Alliance Executive Director Wendy Wilson said. “This is more than a handful of Idahoans saying they want clean energy; it’s a referendum on where Idaho gets its electricity. Idahoans demand clean, responsible electricity, and if our utilities can’t deliver it to us, their own customers will put it on their roofs.
With no utility encouragement, Idaho Power’s customers in Ada and Canyon counties alone just bet more than $900,000 of their own money on clean solar power. When it comes to energy, Idahoans are doubling down with their dollars and their values.”
Solarize the Valley is modeled after similar successful programs across the country, starting in Portland, Oregon. Over the past several years, many Solarize programs have blossomed in the Northwest and across the nation.
Additional community supporters of the Solarize campaign include Idaho Smart Growth, the Idaho U.S. Green Building Council, Sierra Club, Idaho Conservation League, North End Organic Nursery, Payette Brewing Co., Wheeler Homes, Fresca, Hilton Garden Inn Eagle, the Boise Consumer Co-op, Bardenay Restaurant & Distillery, and League of Women Voters.