Idaho Power Begins Solar Power Demonstration Project

Solar power is looking to be the smart choice when it comes to electric power sources. The cost of solar power is decreasing while every other energy resources are increasing.

Solar power is looking to be the smart choice when it comes to electric power sources. The cost of solar power is decreasing while every other energy resources are increasing. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it hasn’t dropped below the cost of traditional energy generation but the gap is narrowing fast at the moment. This is the reason why Idaho Power wants to gamble on it.

Mark Stokes, Idaho Power’s manager of power supply planning, said that the trend is looking good for solar photovoltaic systems. If the costs continue to drop, then it would be the right choice to use to meet the load demands of the utility’s consumers.

Idaho Power is planning to set up a solar demonstration project that would be operational at the end of 2012 but it would not be used until early 2013. This is not the first solar power project that the utility has undertaken. In the late 80s and early 90s, Idaho Power harnessed the sun’s power to pump water for livestock. In 1993, it installed solar panels on the roof of its Boise headquarters.

The planned solar power demonstration project would be its first large-scale photovoltaic installation that will generate electricity. It would use more efficient solar panels that would produce more watt per dollar.

Stokes added that solar power has advantages over other alternative energy sources. Solar would be at its maximum potential during the day when people are actively using electricity and during summer when irrigation pumps and air conditioning units will be used most of the time.

He also said that if a thunderstorm is in the area then production of solar power plant would drop. But at the same time, the load is reduced because people would not be using air conditioners during the storm.

However, Idaho Power is now embroiled in a controversy involving RECs, or commonly known as green tags. A solar developer from Elmore County accuses the utility of trying to steal its renewable energy credits from a 20-megawatt project.

The certificates can be sold by renewable developers to utilities in states such as Oregon and Washington, where utilities are required a certain amount of green tags to pass green-power mandates. Idaho Power said that it needs to have a share of the RECs from Grand View’s solar power installation in Elmore County as well as from other projects to comply with federal renewable energy requirements if they are approved by Congress.

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One Response to “Idaho Power Begins Solar Power Demonstration Project”

  1. Stephen Weeks
    August 15, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    I’m writing to ask if you accept news about new products that are beneficial to solar companies.

    EPOX-Z Corporation has introduced a product called NRG, a zero VOCs cool roof coating that can make solar energy more affordable for commercial building. launching partner rebate program for solar companies using the companies breakthrough cool roof coating for commercial properties.

    With the increased emphasis on energy conservation, there is more pressure for commercial property owners in metropolitan areas to use alternative energy sources. Unfortunately, commerical solar projects frequently stall when the property’s roof is not ready to receive solar panel installation, and the price tag to replace the roof makes the cost of the project unacceptable to the property owner.

    The introduction of products like NRG that make using alternative energy such as solar power economically feasible for large commercial properties is going to be critical. EPOX-Z NRG is an ideal solution that offers the price point, durability, longevity and performance that solar companies need for commercial projects.

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    Thanks for taking the time to review this email and please let me know if you would consider featuring EPOX-Z NRG as a part of your coverage of alternative energy solutions. I can provide you with photos of EPOX-Z NRG as well as any technical data you feel would be useful solar companies, and EPOX-Z CEO Tony Camarota as well as Director of Energy Services Ed Bamford are available to talk about the product’s application in the solar industry.

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