Clenera solar farm in Grand View ready to power Treasure Valley homes

Posted at 6:46 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 21:06:02-04

The Gem state's largest solar project, worth an estimated $200 million, is ready for service.

A company ranked in the top five solar energy developers in the U.S. is based in the Treasure Valley.

On Thursday, the founders of Clenera reached a huge milestone.

They have come up with a new way to think about the future landscape of farming in Idaho. The new solar farm in Grand View is vast, stretching out over a 673-acre site in Elmore County.

Like any project of this magnitude, several speakers said it takes plenty of cooperation and collaboration to get to this point: "There's so many moving pieces on projects like this."

The ribbon cutting signified the effort put forth with the plant constructed rather quickly. Ground was broken back in March. However, the overall project was six years in the making.

Inspiration for some working on the project came from the need to provide generations to come with a clean energy alternative.

"We've got clean energy by way of solar, wind, thermal," said Jason Ellsworth, Clenera chief executive officer. "So much that is changing to make our world a better place and it comes about because of the individual sacrifices of people who care and put in their time and energy to make something like this a reality."

The modules' construction with 350-thousand solar panels also employed dozens of locals with more jobs in the realm of maintenance to be had.

The land is owned by Simplot and Idaho Power will be the ones disseminating the new energy source to thousands of homes in the Treasure Valley.

"It is the wave of the future no matter what side of the spectrum you're in from an economic standpoint of quite frankly making money, to doing something better for our planet," said Project Manager Meir Cabaltera.

After everything checks out, the solar farm will be fully operational within a few weeks.

The new power grid in Grand View will churn out enough "juice" to supply nearly 18,000 homes with energy