BOISE, Idaho — The Boise Co-op is hoping to make the City of Trees a little greener through a partnership with Idaho Power. All of the Boise Co-op locations are now powered by 100% renewable energy.
Through the rest of 2020, the Co-op says 86% of their renewable energy will come from three Idaho-based hydropower plants, and the remaining 14% is divided between wind and solar. All power will come from solar and wind beginning in 2021.
According to the Boise Co-op, the estimated 2,400 megawatt-hours of current energy use will be covered next year by purchasing 95% of renewable energy from solar plants and 5% from wind turbines.
When you walk into one of the Boise Co-op locations and grab your cart, you might not notice anything different, but the change is all around you.
The power will come from solar panels located throughout the Northwest, so even though you won't see them, you'll see the light and energy they are producing throughout the local grocer.
"So that includes basically everything except heating and then our gas stoves for cooking," Director of Marketing, Mo Valko, says.
While this is their most environmentally friendly option, it's not the cheapest.
"It's actually more expensive. We are committed to spending a little more. We know it's the right thing to do, but there is an additional cost to sourcing clean energy," Valko says.
That additional cost will not increase the prices of products, produce or anything in between.
"This is something that we worked into our plan, into our budget for the year, and so there won't be any additional cost to customers for this," Valko says.
Due to heating and cooling different store areas, typical grocery stores use a lot of energy per year. Boise Co-op's goal was to reduce its footprint on the environment, and store managers encourage others to do it.
"We wanted to source energy from renewable resources. We think one of the coolest is that the green power program is available to residents as well, so people can actually use it to source energy for their home power bills," Valko says.
This partnership between Idaho Power and Boise Co-op aligns with Idaho Power's goal of reaching 100% clean energy by 2045.