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Comment Archives: stories: News: News

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Idaho Power's PURPA Problem

Grandview PV Solar Two 230 miles SE of Mountain Home? Sounds like you're lost in the desert, George. It's more like 20 miles SW. And your residential pricing is off by FOUR orders of magnitude, 10-ish cents per kWh, not $100+.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by tva on 03/21/2015 at 11:15 AM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Idaho Power's PURPA Problem

It doesn't matter how cheap solar power is to produce, if the PURPA contracts are higher than Idaho Power generation (and they are) rate payers will end up paying more. Why do you think solar has started to take off so much. Those investors are not out to save the world, they are out to make money and, with a 20 year contract, there is very little risk and a lot of reward. We may be getting greener power, but we will be paying a lot more for it. Because of these contacts.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by David Regan on 03/20/2015 at 11:49 AM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Idaho Power's PURPA Problem

Energy insiders have long known that the notion of ‘renewable energy’ is a romantic proposition – and an economic bust. It is amazing what the lure of guaranteed ‘few strings attached’ government subsidies can achieve.

Solar electricity is growing, promoted, and most importantly, heavily subsidized. The promoters of solar electricity claim that it is close to being competitive with conventional sources of electricity. That is a fantasy.

Solar electricity is expensive and impractical. If it weren't for government subsidies, some explicit and some disguised, the solar industry would collapse. The many claims of competitiveness are always based on ignoring subsidies provided to politically correct renewable power, ignoring the costs associated with unreliability, and ignoring the cost of backup fossil fuel plants.

In terms of current technology, commercial scale solar energy remains a commercially non-viable proposition.

People whose knowledge of electricity production ends at their wall outlet are dictating national energy policy. Magical thinking by hopelessly ignorant political activists permeates the alternative energy universe.

Solar energy and wind energy are nothing but a scam promoted by ideological fanatics in environmental organizations and allied special interests. We all pay for the scam with our taxes and with our electric bills.

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by watcher on 03/20/2015 at 9:44 AM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Idaho Power's PURPA Problem

From Idaho Power's website:

Over the past few decades, we have observed that our hydro base is declining as a result of increased water use and years of drought. We are working to get more water into the Snake River by leasing water and cloud seeding. These activities have the ability to increase hydro generation, especially during the months of greatest need - the hot summer and cold winter - when electricity is needed for cooling and heating.
Our cloud seeding program is designed to augment winter snowpack, especially at higher elevations, and increase runoff and energy production during the spring and summer when energy demand is high. Learn more about cloud seeding (PDF).
Water leasing is simply an agreement where Idaho Power pays to use another party's water to increase flow in the Snake River. In the past these agreements have been negotiated with irrigation districts and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Water Supply Bank.

It just seems to me if hydropower is going to be an issue because of droughts and lack of rainfall (and let's be honest, global warming), couldn't solar power be used to offset this?

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Sarah Ober on 03/19/2015 at 2:26 PM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Idaho Power's PURPA Problem

IP refers to Hydro as 'renewable' which is fine but doesn't it require water to fall from the sky? Is there going to be more of that happening in the future?

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by really on 03/19/2015 at 12:27 PM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Idaho Power's PURPA Problem

Can't IP sell excess power to a national grid? It seems like their biggest problem is that they have refused to make their own investments in solar and wind. Maybe it's time to break up this monopoly.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ken Constant on 03/19/2015 at 10:05 AM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Idaho Power's PURPA Problem

I am solidly pro solar... but I also understand Idaho Power's position... that integrating intermittent solar into a system that requires steady reliable output... is inherently expensive... and that extra expense hurts customers... and Idaho Power and its stock and bond holders. Numerous companies here in the US and in Europe face the very same problems. SO... HERE IS A COMPROMISE POSITION.... require Idaho Power to buy that intermittent power... but also allow them to use any of that power that does not meet its immediate needs, to be used to pump water back into its reservoirs where it can be used again... and again... and again.... to generate hydropower, and that any power used in that way will only have to be paid for at half the contracted price... with some limit to prevent IP from using all such power in that way!!! This and other such compromises could serve as a model to be used all over the US and Europe!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by John Dille on 03/18/2015 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Idaho Power's PURPA Problem

The other interesting part of this story is that years ago, a Idaho Power engineer told me that you can't rely on solar and wind for baseload power. No where in this article am I hearing where Idaho Power saying that PV/Wind can't meet those requirements. They seem to be saying that they will have TOO MUCH power. Whaaaat? If PV/Wind is too unreliable, then how can you have too much power to use? You either have too much or not enough or just right. Which is it? Someone needs to nail this down. Or, maybe nailing it down reveals the inconvenient answer?

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gary Seven on 03/18/2015 at 5:36 PM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Idaho Power's PURPA Problem

My solution would be to install direct solar generation to my rooftop and utilize demand management (controlling my own consumption). I would tell IP to disconnect and adios. It's total freedom. And no one yells at me for "forcing my PC energy on them." I just gotta be able to afford the panels and batts. I already know some people who are doing this.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gary Seven on 03/18/2015 at 5:14 PM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Idaho Power's PURPA Problem

What it comes down to is what our power bills are, especially in winter months . Solar and other "PC" sources should not be forced upon IP when the ultimate costs are paid out of our wallets. That's a big price to pay to make envirowackos happy.

0 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Dave Bradford on 03/18/2015 at 3:53 PM

Re: “Keep 'Em Home

Home schoolin is coo and all u know mysayin u understand the word coming out my mouth ya dawg woof u can ditch class u knowmysayin and all but u can never ditch ur way to be my dawg u knowmysayin cause i am r truth t raw carter u knowmysayin

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by carter on 03/18/2015 at 3:05 PM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Idaho Power's PURPA Problem

Kiki,
Your idea sounds better.

Posted by Jerry Branson on 03/18/2015 at 2:59 PM

Re: “Keep 'Em Home

homeschooling is coo u know mysayin u keep em home u know mysayin with jays tho

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by cj carter on 03/18/2015 at 2:41 PM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Idaho Power's PURPA Problem

So Idaho Power doesn't like 20 year contracts. They would prefer two year contracts.
Yet, the companies providing the resource seem to think two years is too short and will scare away investors. Honestly, that is a logical argument. Still, I would say that a similar argument can be made against 20 year contracts. With the way power demand fluctuates contracts should be reevaluated more often than every 20 years. Still, 20 years to 2 years.....doesn't that seem like a drastic leap? Why hasn't anyone considered going for a middle ground? Why not 10 years or 12 years?

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kiki on 03/18/2015 at 8:22 AM

Re: “Boise State History Dept. Adjuncts: They're History

B.S.U. Class of 1990. History degree. I knew twenty-five years ago that eventually they were going to take the ax to the history department. I didn't want to believe it, but I had a feeling. Looks like they are well underway. *Sigh*

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jeff Cordell on 03/17/2015 at 9:54 PM

Re: “Keep 'Em Home

asatfa\erallah bro im muslim homeschool is haram people do drugs haram wallahi so thats chool

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by r truth carter on 03/17/2015 at 3:12 PM

Re: “Keep 'Em Home

thats coo

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Cj Carter on 03/17/2015 at 3:10 PM

Re: “Boise State History Dept. Adjuncts: They're History

I am really disappointed in BSU.

I graduated with a History degree in 2010 from BSU anyone familiar with the History Department already knew it was neglected.

Maybe I am not smart enough to understand the situation but I do not see how gutting a department such as the History department is in line with the following statement: "The university is an integral part of its metropolitan environment and is engaged in its economic vitality, policy issues, professional and continuing education programming, and cultural enrichment."

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brian White on 03/13/2015 at 12:18 AM

Re: “Boise State History Dept. Adjuncts: They're History

The thinking at work here can be best demonstrated by the new Business and Economics building. Every room has a corporate sponsor, and unless a department has a corporate sponsor they are expendable. And while an understanding of Europe's past, or Asia's past, or Latin America's past, or even America's past might seem to some as being "boutique", the study of "thermophoresis and the characterization of nanomaterials" seems to me just as "boutique". Kustra's vision of a "Yale on the Boise" would seem to be in peril then... For Yale values it's history department. Some other institutions of higher learning are going to get very lucky soon. Both Dr. Hadley and Dr. Krohn are amazing educators. Their departure hurts the university.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joe Green on 03/12/2015 at 8:02 PM

Re: “Boise State History Dept. Adjuncts: They're History

I know from first hand experience how ridiculously hard it was to get into history classes already! Wait lists and begging was the only way. I graduated in 2014 and Dr. Hadley and the adjuncts (especially Tamara Mackenthun) are amazing and the university is INSANE for making this decision. I will be withholding ALL donations to the Alumni Association and give up my season tickets over this! FIX THIS DR. KUSTRA!

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jwade75 on 03/12/2015 at 4:34 PM


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