The Snake River Alliance, a nuclear watchdog and clean energy advocacy organization, organized a solarize campaign in southwestern Idaho’s Treasure Valley about six months ago. Through the campaign homes and businesses in the region have agreed to install 266 kilowatts of solar surpassing the campaign’s goal of installing 250 kilowatts of solar power.
The alliance said that 40 households agreed to invest a total of $826,608 in rooftop solar for their homes. The solarize program partnered with two installers, AltEnergy and Site-Based Energy, that are offering discounted prices on the installations based on how many people and companies signed up for solar installations through the program. Thanks to the success of the program both companies were able to create new clean energy jobs, the alliance said.
“This program was meant to kick-start the market for solar in Idaho and it worked,” Snake River Alliance Executive Director Wendy Wilson said. “There is a lot of pent-up demand, over 400 households showed interest in the program and signed up for free assessments over the summer.”
Between the Solarize the Valley campaign and another recent solarize campaign, Solarize Blaine in the Wood River Valley, people in Idaho are investing $1.5 million of their own money in rooftop solar power.
People who have already received their installation are happy with it, too. “People ask how we like it,” said Rick Just. He and wife Rinda Just, who previously worked on natural resource issues, are pleased with their installation. “Really, the only time we notice it is when the tiny electric bill comes. We don’t notice anything different about the way things operate,” he said.
By agreeing to install solar through the program homes and businesses were able to get solar power on their homes for as little as $2.95 per watt for a system larger than 10 kilowatts and up to $3.50 per watt for solar arrays between 2 and under 5 kilowatts. The price is lower than the median price of solar, according to the most recent data from the SunShot Initiative’s Tracking the Sun report. The systems in the program are net-metered to help reduce homeowners’ and businesses electric bills further.
The campaign is part of the alliance’s efforts to close coal-fired power plants in the state. Currently, coal plants generate about 40 percent of Idaho Power’s electricity.Tweet