Wind Farms springing up on the Snake River Plain
Bliss--Driving on I-84 between Boise and Bliss, one can see wind farms springing up from the parched plain. Idaho is rated the 13th best place in the nation to cash in on wind power because of steady wind supply.
Wyoming, Washington, Oregon are moving full speed ahead to get in on the ground floor of wind power, but Idaho Utilities are more interested in reliable fossil fuels according to the PUC.
Idaho’s energy czar, Paul Kjellander is cautious about the profitability of wind power. “In Idaho we have some decent wind sites – three-plus category wind that is in sufficient clusters that I think you can do some large scale development , but at the core of all of it will be transmission. Without transmission we won’t be able to get any of that to market.”
Nonetheless he says there are seven major transmission projects planned across the state, Kjellander says the state is involved in a couple of projects to map wind potential. “You’ve got to be aware – or beware – of those merchants of magic bullets. Renewable technologies are maturing and some of them are very mature, but no single resource is going to get us to where we need to be,” he said.