Snake River Alliance program in Treasure Valley promotes installation of home solar power systems

Posted at 10:19 PM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 00:19:22-04

The Treasure Valley gets an average of 220 sunny days a year, which makes it a great spot for solar power.
There's already a massive solar project between Boise and Mountain Home.
And the Snake River Alliance is now making it easier for individual citizens to ride the "solar train" as well.

When President Obama was in office, gun shops did huge business.
Now, under President Trump, it seems solar power is getting a similar bump.

"This year because of politics, I've lost faith that we have leadership from the government level," says Barbara Cochrane, "so I'm going with the greass roots."

Cochrane is installing solar and taking advantage of a program called Solarize the Valley started by the Snake River Alliance.

"We're not going to stop until we've got 100 percent safe renewable energy," says Wendy Wilson with Snake River Alliance.

But federal 30 percent tax credits are expected to expire in 2021 if not earlier.
And Idaho Power has already balked at it's program of giving homeowners credits for the power they add to the grid.

"That's threatened.  We had a shot across the bow to say after this year," says Wilson, "there's no guarantee on how long you can hold credits."
So, the Alliance says it's done all the research on solar installation and works with contractors who are reliable and reasonable.

"Solarize the Valley is offering clients fixed pricing on solar and cuts out the labor they have to do in getting multiple bids and figuring out who to trust in the Valley to do solar," says Jesse Simpson from Altenergy.
Idaho already has the largest solar field in the northwest and people like cochrane say that's one more indication the future is not in coal but renewable energy.

"I believe in this stuff.  It's the wave of the future and something we need to do. I want to endorse it." says Cochrane.
Altenergy says the solar systems pay for themselves in about 11 years.
After that, they can potentially power your home without any cost outside of maintenence.