Less than a year ago, the Snake River Alliance announced plans for Treasure Valley homes and businesses to install 250 kilowatts of solar power on their rooftops through a partnership with Idaho solar panel installers.
The Alliance has passed that goal and passed the 266 kilowatt mark. Forty households in southwest Idaho invested at least $826,608 in rooftop solar.
“This program was meant to kick start the market for solar in Idaho and it worked,” Snake River Alliance Executive Director Wendy Wilson said. When combined with a similar campaign, Solarize Blaine in the Wood River Valley, Idahoans invested $1.5 million in solar power. Solarize participants received special rates from two contractors, AltEnergy and Site-Based Energy.
Solarize the Valley is part of the Alliance’s efforts to eventually close coal-fired power plants that now generate about 40 percent of Idaho Power’s electricity. The group is also promoting clean electric and hybrid vehicles to improve Idaho’s air quality and reduce the state’s carbon footprint.
Additional Solarize the Valley community supporters include Idaho Smart Growth, the Idaho U.S. Green Building Council, the Sierra Club, Idaho Conservation League, North End Organic Nursery, Payette Brewing Co., Wheeler Homes, Fresca, Hilton Garden Inn Eagle, the Boise Consumer Co-op, Bardenay Restaurant & Distillery, and League of Women Voters.