Proposal Could Allow More Idaho Power Customers to Subscribe to Community Solar Project 

Environmental advocates, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission and customers of Idaho Power all say they like the utility's proposal for customers to subscribe to a large-scale solar power project in southeast Boise—they just don't like the way Idaho Power is proposing customers pay for it.

Earlier this year, Idaho Power proposed that 1,500 mostly residential customers purchase subscriptions to a 500-kilowatt community solar project on the corner of Amity and Holcomb roads.

Idaho Power originally proposed a one-time fee of $740 for each subscription, but that didn't sit well with a raft of organizations and agencies including the PUC, city of Boise, Idaho Conservation League, Idaho Irrigation Pumpers, Sierra Club and Snake River Alliance. Rather, they want to lower the fee to $563 and enable customers to pay either at one time or in monthly installments of $26.31 over 24 months.

PUC officials said they will take public comment on the proposal until Tuesday, Oct. 18. To comment on the proposed settlement, click here and include the case number, IPC-E-16-14.

The project was requested by customers who can't install their own rooftop solar panels because they reside in rental properties or multi-unit dwellings, have aging roofs, too much shade or an unsuitable rooftop orientation. The 500-KW project would be divided into 350-KW for residential customers and 150-KW for commercial customers. Subscriptions would be rewarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

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