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New campus for Scientech in Idaho Falls

An Idaho Falls company that supplies products to the power industry is building a new campus.

Scientech is a global provider of commercial nuclear instrumentation, electrical components, specialty hardware and other products and services for power and nuclear plants. Its parent company is Curtiss Wright. Scientech Facility Manager Joanne Quarnstrom said the company will break ground on two buildings that will be 112,000 square feet in the Snake River Landing development this year. Construction will wrap up in 2014.

One building will house light assembly and manufacturing and the other will house software integration and programming. More than 350 people will work in both buildings when they are completed. Quarnstrom said the company is now spread across several spaces in a strip mall including a former pizza restaurant, copy center, and grocery store.

Steve Kahle Architects is the architect and Tom Stuart Construction is the general contractor. Project costs aren’t being disclosed.

Jennifer Gonzalez

Regulators reject Idaho Power’s plans to raise rates on home solar generators

State regulators have rejected a plan by the Idaho’s biggest utility to raise rates and fees on customers who generate small amounts of solar power at home.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission issued its decision the week of July 1, siding with 386 homeowners and small businesses owners who have solar panels on roofs or built small wind turbines. The homeowners also had the support from the City of Boise, solar panel installers and renewable energy advocates.

The Idaho Statesman reports the commission rejected a proposal by Idaho Power Co. to raise rates on those customers and quadruple the fees they paid to hook into the power grid.

Regulators also criticized the utility for not working to solve differences with those customers before bringing a formal case to the PUC.

The Associated Press

State files appeal in Medicaid fraud case

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is appealing a decision by an administrative judge to dismiss fraud charges and restore the Medicaid provider status of a southern Idaho mental health provider.

Agency officials announced an appeal the week of July 1 in the case involving Seasons of Hope. Last month, a hearing judge cleared the clinic of fraud alleged by the agency after an 18-month investigation.

State lawyers alleged the Chubbuck-based provider if inappropriate billing and also sought to recoup more than $439,000 in overpayments.

The judge, however, did order Seasons of Hope to repay more than $94,000 in payments and fines.

But agency spokesman Tom Shanahan says agency attorneys believe the clinic owes taxpayers more than that amount.

The appeal will be reviewed by the agency director Richard Armstrong.

The Associated Press

Hoku goes bankrupt, Pocatello plant shuttered

The parent company of a polysilicon manufacturing plant in eastern Idaho has filed for bankruptcy in Pocatello federal court.

The Idaho State Journal reports Hoku Corp. made the Chapter 7 filing July 2. It put the company’s debt at nearly $1 billion.

Hoku Corp. is the parent company of Hoku Materials, which built the $700 million plant in Pocatello.

Letters sent to the company’s creditors say the plant has been shut down and will be guarded around the clock by security. Nobody may enter unless authorized by bankruptcy trustee R. Sam Hopkins.

A meeting of the company’s creditors has been scheduled for July 31. More than 30 entities are listed as creditors.

Honolulu-based Hoku announced it was delisting its stock from Nasdaq last year. Its website was offline July 3.

The Associated Press






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