Public Will Weigh In On Second Power Transmission Line for Sun Valley 

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

The Sun Valley and Ketchum city councils will meet in a rare joint session later this week to give the public an opportunity to weigh in on a much-debated proposal to construct a second power transmission line through much of the Wood River Valley.

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

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

She's right. A second 138,000-volt line could cost as much as $30 million, with Ketchum and Sun Valley shouldering $2.7 million-$7.9 million for the cost of running part of the line underground from northeast Ketchum to a Sun Valley substation. The Idaho Mountain Express reports the expense "would have to to be paid by local governments, by ratepayers or by local improvement districts."

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has to OK the planned project, but first, Idaho Power will be on hand to hear public comment on Thursday, Aug. 18, at the Ketchum Community Library. The Mountain Express reports Idaho Power is looking for formal resolutions of support from both the Ketchum and Sun Valley city councils before moving forward.
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