Activists protest Idaho Power’s value of solar study

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Public hearing at IPUC.Photo by Sierra Club

On November 3, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) held the final of three statewide public hearings on Idaho Power’s recently published study on the value of excess rooftop solar power. has been held. 60% or more. Over 750 public comments have been submitted by the Nov. 4 deadline, the overwhelming majority of which oppose his Idaho Power solar study.

Ahead of the hearings, a group of student climate activists and conservation groups held a press conference at the IPUC office calling on Idaho Power to support energy democracy.

“Idaho Power claims to be clean energy and environmentally friendly. So why are they making it more expensive and inaccessible? It’s not worth the impact it will have on the planet and on us.As a member of the PUC, it’s your job to keep power affordable and regulate monopolies in your state.When making decisions, it’s not the company. , think about people and the planet,” said Kylie Jackson, a youth activist for the Climate Justice League.

At the hearing, solar advocates urged the IPUC to reject or seriously consider Idaho Power’s solar research. By the end of the hearings, the IPUC had more than 50 members of his community, rooftop solar plant owners, solar company owners and employees, farmers, doctors, youth activists and interested citizens. I heard an opinion from

“We ask the PUC to do something simple: defend the right of Idahoans to produce their own energy and limit the power company’s ability to have sole control over how Idaho’s solar energy is evaluated. We’re here for you,” said general manager Rachael Miller. at Levorsund.

Some witnesses have personal stories and independent research The report, published by Crossborder Energy, finds that Idaho Power undervalues ​​customer-owned rooftop solar to avoid long-term hedging against volatile natural gas prices and impacts on carbon emission rates. It shows that it fails to take advantage into account, resulting in artificially low values ​​and ultimately discouragement. Locally owned solar.

“Excluding key benefits, Idaho Power’s total export credit rate is between 2.3 and 4 cents per kilowatt. ,” said Sherlyn Messilas Becerra, a youth activist for the Climate Justice League. “What this tells the Idaho community is that Idaho Power puts profit before people.”

High school activists from the Idaho Climate Justice League and other community organizations and businesses address the public at a pre-hearing press conference, highlighting clean energy and solar in the race to minimize the impact of climate change. Emphasized the importance of power generation.

“[Idaho Power’s] This study fails to account for the environmental benefits of solar power and uses biased data to support Idaho Power’s financial interests,” said Molly O., student activist for the Climate Justice League. ‘ said Sullivan. “To engage in so-called ‘clean energy’ and promote anything else is against the faith of the communities that rely on this power. You have to ask for something.”

The IPUC staff initially suggested not holding a public hearing on the matter. However, after receiving over 350 comments calling for public hearings in multiple areas of the state, the IPUC eventually decided to hold public hearings in Boise (3 November, 3 hours) and Pocatello (27 October, 2 hours). ) and will hold a hearing in Twin Falls (October 27, 2016). v 2, 1 hour). A final IPUC decision on whether to accept or reject Idaho Power’s findings is expected by the end of the year. Idaho Power will then propose a new compensation rate structure for solar owners. This will open yet another case at the IPUC early next year. View the full study and follow the case on the IPUC website here.

Notice from Sierra Club

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