A Letter to Our Valued Customers
By Darrel Anderson
Feb. 1, 2015
You’ve heard a lot about solar energy lately. Due to federal requirements, Idaho Power recently signed contracts to buy energy from numerous solar projects beginning next year. These aren’t rooftop solar panels; they are multi-acre solar farms capable of powering thousands of homes and businesses — when the sun is shining. And many more large projects are being proposed.
Through careful long-term planning, Idaho Power has made sure we have enough resources to serve our customers’ electricity needs through at least 2021. In addition, the planned Boardman to Hemingway transmission line will reliably serve additional growth for years beyond that without adding any new power plants.
Federal law mandates that we buy all of the electricity these new solar and other renewable projects produce, even when it’s not needed. The cost of this unneeded power is passed on to you.
We are required to sign 20-year contracts with solar developers, guaranteeing prices over that period. That puts you on the hook for billions of dollars in energy costs.
That’s not fair to you, and that’s why we are asking the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to allow for two-year contracts. This will provide an opportunity to adjust prices to reflect current and evolving energy markets. We are required to buy this energy on your behalf, but we want to make sure you don’t have to pay more than it’s worth.
At Idaho Power, we know the importance of renewable energy. We already provide some of the cleanest electricity in the country thanks to our current mix of hydroelectric, wind and other zero-carbon resources. We will continue to responsibly reduce our carbon footprint. We look forward to providing clean, renewable energy that is reliable and priced fairly, as we have done for nearly 100 years. That means incorporating solar power into our system in a way that is responsible and sustainable, for the environment and for you, our customers.
We invite you to share your thoughts about our energy future, by visiting Our Energy Future.