Idaho Power wants to spend $30 million of ratepayers’ money in Blaine County and a good chunk of that cost will be used on undergrounding a transmission line in Ketchum, so residents don’t have to look at ugly transmission towers and wires. Any part of the line that is buried is approximately 10 times the cost of an overhead line. But here’s the thing, this line doesn’t make Blaine County any more energy secure. It does not generate electricity, it only moves it from the Hailey sub-station. In the 2009 Christmas power outage no power was getting to Blaine County from both of the southern sub-stations, so this line would have been useless. For approximately I believe $3-6 million, a backup diesel generator could be installed in a matter of months now, to provide that emergency backup power in the rare case the existing transmission line goes down. The existing Hailey SV transmission line had only eight outages during 1980-2010, four for less than five minutes, and the longest being 148 minutes. Idaho ratepayers, please be aware that your money could be better spent on real solutions that help the entire Idaho grid and comment to PUC.
Kiki Tidwell, Hailey