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Idaho Power breaking to clean energy

Idaho Power announced Tuesday the company has established a goal to provide 100% clean energy by 2045.

The company, which calls its plan, “Clean Today, Cleaner Tomrrow,” is among the first publicly owned utilities to set that goal. To do that, Idaho Power said it would continue its path away from coal and invest in storage and additional clean generation sources like wind and solar.

As part of that effort, Idaho Power also announced a landmark agreement to buy clean, local solar energy at a price that is among the lowest on record. It will come from a future solar project south of Twin Falls that is expected to generate 120 megawatts.

The utility signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Jackpot Holdings, LLC, an Idaho company that plans to complete the solar array by 2022. Idaho Power will pay $21.75 per megawatt-hour, which is less than 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour. The agreement includes an option for Idaho Power to eventually buy the facility, as well as obtain energy from a proposed expansion at a slightly higher price.

Under those stipulations, Idaho Power said this is among the lowest-cost solar contracts of its size, making solar power a viable part of the company’s energy mix.

Once built, it will connect to an existing transmission line.

“Providing 100-percent clean energy is an important goal for Idaho Power. More and more customers are telling us it is important to them, too,” Idaho Power President and CEO Darrel Anderson said. “We believe this goal is attainable. We have a great head start, thanks to our clean hydropower plants that produce almost half the energy our customers use. Our recently signed agreement with Jackpot Holdings moves us even closer.”

Idaho Power has reduced its carbon emissions intensity — measured in pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per megawatt-hour — by almost 50 percent since 2005. The company has entered agreements to end participation in two coal plants and is exploring exiting a third and final coal plant.

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