Idaho Power has filed with the Idaho Public Utility Commission (IPUC) to establish new rules for small generation customers with on-site electricity generation, such as solar photovoltaic net metering. In IP’s cost/benefit analysis, no mention is made of the benefits of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV).
With the abundant sunshine the Treasure Valley receives most days of the year, solar PV is an opportunity to generate electricity as a clean alternative to the burning of coal, oil and gas, which contribute to climate change. Solar PV net metering reduces Idaho Power’s generation needs at peak times when electricity is expensive to produce, as in the summer when air-conditioning requirements are high. Rooftop solar PV energy is used where it is generated, on the rooftops of homes and businesses, thereby reducing transmission line and distribution losses. The solar PV industry in Idaho grew 43 percent from 2015 to 2016, and renewable energy and energy efficiency industries are creating jobs at 12 to 20 times that of the general economy. More good jobs for Idahoans.
In any good cost/benefit analysis, benefits should receive equal weight. Hopefully, the IPU commissioners will recognize these “left-out” values of rooftop solar PV net metering customers.
Gayle Buhrer-Poorman, Meridian
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