We balance our fleet of hydroelectric power plants with thermal resources and electricity from small renewable projects to ensure our nearly 500,000 customers can count on electricity when they need it.
But recent dramatic changes in the way energy is produced, sold and delivered in Idaho have upset that balance. The huge influx of industrial wind projects that has been forced onto our system is raising customer rates and threatening the reliability of our electrical grid. Federal law requires us to buy energy from these projects, but we don't think Idahoans should be required to pay inflated rates for electricity that is often not needed at all.
Idaho Power is not against the development of wind, or any other resource, as long as it is done in a responsible manner that considers the impact on customers. The sudden run-up in wind capacity over the past eight years has occurred outside of Idaho Power's planning process. It’s a collaborative process, which results in an Integrated Resource Plan. Analysis of economic and population trends, resource costs and other factors help us plan and prepare to serve customer needs far into the future.
Wind is an intermittent and unpredictable energy resource. It is just one part of our total generation mix, which comprises a variety of renewable resources including solar, geothermal, biomass and small hydro plants. Because the Renewable Energy Certificates, or “green tags” associated with this energy are usually sold by developers to out-of-state buyers, Idaho Power and our customers don’t benefit from the environmental attributes of these projects.
We believe our customers should receive all of the benefits associated with the energy they are required to buy, and that the energy should be priced based on its overall value. These are issues that affect all Idaho Power customers. Learn how you can get involved today.