the film
Economic and dam related articles

Solar Projects Set to
Add Energy to Power Grid

by Staff
Connections, September 2016

The amount of renewable energy being produced in Idaho Power's service area will grow significantly this year if planned solar developments come on-line.

Eight commercial solar projects in Idaho and six in Oregon, with a total capacity of 289.5 megawatts (MW), are slated to begin producing energy by the end of 2016. All of these projects have 20-year contracts to sell their energy to Idaho Power.

Idaho Power has sufficient resources to supply energy to our customers for the next several years. However, the company is required to purchase energy from these solar projects under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), at prices that are established in accordance with PURPA's rules.

These prices are often considerably higher than wholesale power market purchase prices, particularly recently, which drives up Idaho Power's power prices and ultimately its rates.

Idaho Power also buys energy from numerous wind projects with a total capacity of 678 MW, as well as a host of other renewable energy producers, including small hydro, biomass and biogas projects.

Because Idaho Power sells the renewable energy certificates or "green tags" it receives from those projects, Idaho Power cannot state that the renewable energy from those projects is delivered to Idaho Power's customers.

Learn more about how renewable energy certificates work on our website.

Solar 4R Schools Update

Idaho Power's Solar 4R Schools program educates students about renewable energy by installing solar panels on school property.

Energy generated by these small-scale solar-electric systems helps the participating schools to set a portion of their electricity bills. The projects are funded by our Green Power Program participants and managed by the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

In 2015, Idaho Power completed two new installations and awarded another. Salmon High School's 4-kW awning-mount system is functional and decorative, and it shades one of the school's doorways.

Students at the Community School in Sun Valley raised additional funds to increase their system size beyond the Solar 4R Schools award. The 15-kW system has 54 panels facing Mt. Baldy.

Each installation also includes a data monitoring system and curriculum package. Teacher trainings were held in early spring. The Community School joins 15 other schools with systems.

The next school to receive an array will be St. Mary's, a K-8 grade school near downtown Boise.

If you know a school with an engaged teacher who could use a solar array for education, encourage them to apply online.

Solar Projects Set to Add Energy to Power Grid
Connections, September 2016

See what you can learn

learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs
discussion forum
salmon animation