Plan for Second Power Line for Sun Valley Might Soon See Light of Day 

click to enlarge JAMES BLINN - 123RF
  • James Blinn - 123RF

The much-debated proposal to construct a second transmission line through Ketchum, linking Hailey and Sun Valley, may see the light of day as early as the end of August.

Each December, Wood River Valley residents fear a repeat incident of the massive Christmas blackout of 2009 that left nearly 17,000 people in the dark. According to Idaho Power spokeswoman Lynette Standley, discussions about redundancy predated the blackout.

"But that's an expensive project," Standley told Boise Weekly in 2015.

A second 138,000-volt line could cost as much as $30 million with overhead lines stretching from the Wood River substation in Hailey to St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center, then running underground through Ketchum and Sun Valley. The underground cost alone could cost anywhere from $2.7 million to $7.9 million—a price tag that would fall on the shoulders of local taxpayers.

Now, this morning's Idaho Mountain Express is reporting Idaho Power is prepared to sit down with officials from the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley regarding those costs. No official meeting date is set, but the Mountain Express that Idaho Power "is preparing to go to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, potentially by the end of August, to apply for approval to build the project."
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