The declining cost of solar technology, along with tax incentives and other factors, has made solar power more popular in recent years.
Idaho Power Solar Contracts
Idaho Power has contracts with 20 commercial solar-energy projects that have a combined capacity of 319 MW. These 20 agreements comply with the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), which requires utilities like Idaho Power to buy all energy generated by certain facilities.
We also buy energy from the 120-MW Jackpot Solar plant south of Twin Falls, Idaho. This plant began generating energy in late 2022.
Idaho Power does not own or operate these projects.
Some of our customers have installed solar systems on their homes or businesses to offset some of their energy costs. Here’s some important information to keep in mind if you are thinking about installing a solar system or other customer generation.
Idaho Power Uses Rooftop Solar
Our Boise corporate headquarters’ photovoltaic (PV) array, installed in 1994, is a 25-kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar system. The electricity created helps power the building and provides enough energy to operate all the computers on a single floor — just over 100 kilowatt-hours per day.
A similar-sized system was installed on our Twin Falls Operations Center in 2016.
The amount of energy these arrays generate varies depending on the season and weather.
Solar in Idaho Power’s Daily Operations
Idaho Power uses small PV panels in its daily operations to power equipment used for checking water quality, measuring stream flows and operating cloud-seeding equipment.
In addition to these PV installations, Idaho Power:
- Participates in the Solar 4R Schools program.
- Donated a 2.7-kilowatt array (36 75-watt PV modules) to the Foothills Learning Center.
- Installed an 18.5-kilowatt array to boost voltage on a remote distribution line near Shoshone, Idaho (video).
- Operates a Solar-Enhanced Lighting™ system in one of its downtown Boise parking lots. The system was installed in July 2013 and is designed to produce as much energy during the day as the lights consume at night while illuminating the parking lot.
- Participated in installing solar panels at Celebration Park, near Melba, Idaho. The panels supply electricity to the park’s outdoor lighting and visitor center, with any additional power going back to the electrical grid.