Energy

Don Ryan / AP Photo

Tucked into President Donald Trump’s new budget, which was released Tuesday, is a proposal for the government to sell off power lines that deliver electricity to Idaho.

The budget summary says the government could make $4.9 billion by selling the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission assets over a 10-year period. Around $1.8 billion of that could come in two years.

Tom Banse

There will be a "teach-in" Thursday, April 26 at noon at the Boise State University library. That's a lesson followed by open discussion.

If that sounds like a throwback to an earlier time, it is. But the topic is very present day - it's about the new energy policy of the Trump administration. It's sponsored by the Center for Idaho History and Politics and it's being presented by Jen Schneider, an associate professor in the School of Public Service. 

Graphic Artist: Sam Cornett / Solar Roadways Indiegogo

A northern Idaho city will be the first to get a demonstration of high tech hexagonal paving panels that can melt snow, among other features.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that Sandpoint is working with Solar Roadways officials to install the panels at Jeff Jones Square. City administrator Jennifer Stapleton says the Solar Roadways owners plan to keep their hometown installation up to date with any upgrades to the panels.

snakeriveralliance.org

The clean energy advocacy group the Snake River Alliance today launched a campaign called Solarize the Valley. For the next 10 weeks the group will be trying to get as many people as possible in Ada and Canyon Counties to install solar panels on their homes and businesses.

courtesy Snake River Alliance

Idaho’s first commercial solar power project won’t be operational this month as predicted. But one of the companies involved in the project says it should come online by the end of May.

The state’s first solar power farm is on about 500 acres just southwest of Boise. When the project, known as Boise City Solar, is finished it will produce enough megawatts to power 29,000 homes during good solar exposure. That’s more homes than a city the size of Idaho Falls.

Who owns it?

Enel Green Power

On September 17, the flow in the Boise River dropped from 621 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 335 cfs. The drop occurred at Barber Dam, a hydroelectric plant east of town.

The dam is operated by Enel Green Power, an international hydropower company. The company leases the plant from Ada County. According to Enel operations director Conrad St. Pierre, an electrical failure on the Idaho Power circuit occurred the morning of September 17.

Kxlly Kxsh / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Power is one step closer to replacing an aging transmission line that runs from Hagerman to Hailey. Blaine County approved a permit for the project last week. Now, the Bureau of Land Management will review it – and will pay special attention to the greater sage grouse in the area.

Wendy / Flickr Creative Commons

A new study from an environmental think tank ranks Idaho among the states with a low ecological footprint. The study from the Global Footprint Network ranked states against one other on a number of green measures. Idaho received the top ranking for electricity generated from renewable energy. Washington and Oregon come in second and third, respectively.

A close look shows the renewable source that earned Idaho its high ranking is hydropower, with wind and biomass taking up smaller shares.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Power officials say a key part of the company's plan for supplying a growing number of customers in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon over the next two decades is maintaining 17 hydroelectric projects.

The company last week submitted its updated Integrated Resource Plan to the public utility commissions in both states, predicting an increase from 516,000 customers to 711,000 in 20 years.

Kerry Lannert / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Power sees the highest demand for electricity in the summer when people crank up their air conditioners. And with a long stretch of very hot weather in store, that demand is expected to be very high.

The utility that powers most of southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon set a new record for energy consumption just two years ago in July. Idaho Power spokesman Brad Bowlin says that record could be surpassed soon.

The Energy Department has awarded grants to scientists in five western states to develop research for a national lab aimed at tapping hard-to-get-to geothermal energy they say someday could provide enough power to supply 100 million homes.

Lynn Orr, energy undersecretary for science, announced Monday research teams in Nevada, California, Idaho, Oregon and Utah also will share the $2 million for the first phase of the project.

Oil companies in North Dakota are looking for the fastest and cheapest way to get their product to refineries, and they've set their sights on moving more of their product by rail to the Northwest.

There are six new oil terminals proposed for Washington state. Half of them could be built in the small communities around Grays Harbor, a bay on the Pacific coast about 50 miles north of the mouth of the Columbia River.

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" says he'll grant a one-time waiver to the U.S. Department of Energy to bring nuclear waste for research into the state if certain conditions are met.

The Post Register reports in a story on Wednesday that Otter in a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says spent fuel rods can enter if the federal agency commits to resolving noncompliance issues from a 1995 agreement.

State officials say they plan to fine the federal government $3,600 per day for missing a deadline to remove nuclear waste from a southeast Idaho nuclear facility.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality says the U.S. Department of Energy missed a Dec. 31 deadline to ship nuclear waste out of the Idaho National Laboratory.

A coalition in Oregon and the Democratic governor of Washington want to juice sales of electric cars by providing more state incentives.

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