Idaho Moves Forward on Wind Power

John Davis

Idaho is one of the windiest states in America, but it’s wind power generating capabilities have been all but nil… but that could soon change.

This story in the Idaho Statesman says a couple of regulatory cases at the Idaho Public Utilities Commission are finally being settled, ending a two-year moratorium on most new wind energy development in the state. Experts believe this could open the door to a power source with more potential than all of Idaho’s current energy resources combined:

“This is huge,” said Gerald Fleischman, an engineer with the Energy Division of the Idaho Department of Water Resources. “This is not a small, side alternative energy source that it’s nice to talk about and it’s going to help us out a little bit. That is not what it is. It is a big, monster resource.”

Fleischman calculates that Idaho could produce twice as much energy from wind as it produces and uses from all sources. “That’s the potential from identified sites. The real potential is probably bigger than that,” he said.

Idaho has just three commercial wind farms right now. But with the nearly finalized change in the commission’s rules and with the spiraling cost of natural gas to fire more conventional power plants, that number could grow dramatically.