Cloud Seeding Program Expandsby Idaho Power
Consumer Connections, December 2012
Since 2003, we've operated a cloud seeding program, which increases snow accumulation and provides increased generation at the company's hydroelectric facilities. Those facilities are Idaho Power's least expensive source of electricity, so more water in the river benefits our customers. Increased snowfall also benefits skiers, snowmobilers, agriculture, fish and other wildlife habitat, aquifer recharge and water quality.
We estimate cloud seeding in the Payette River watershed provides nearly 200,000 additional acre-feet of water for the Hells Canyon Complex each year. That amount of water can generate approximately 100,000 megawatt-hours, or enough to power roughly 7,900 homes.
This winter, the program includes 17 remote-controlled, ground-based generators and one airplane for operations in the Payette Basin. The program in the Upper Snake River Basin includes 19 remote-controlled, ground- based generators operated by Idaho Power and 25 manual, ground-based generators operated by a coalition of counties and other stakeholders in the upper Snake River system above Milner Dam.
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