Blaine County is a Clean Energy Leader

Idaho Power’s recent announcement that they will be supplying customers with 100% renewable energy by 2045 has led to justified celebration. Our community should be proud of its role in moving Idaho’s clean energy future forward.

Idaho Power CEO, Darrell Anderson, said in making the announcement that customers want renewable energy. Blaine County residents, businesses and political leaders have long raised their voices for a clean, resilient energy future. Ketchum resident, naturalist and author, Kerrin McCall, has diligently researched, written about and advocated for local renewable energy for years. At Idaho Power’s 2009 Annual Meeting, local resident Kiki Tidwell drove a shareholder resolution calling on the company to address climate change – AND WON.

In 2012, Kerrin, then-Ketchum City Council member Nina Jonas, Sagebrush Solar founder Billy Mann (now with AltEnergy), engineer Andy Castellano, former American Public Power Association CEO Alan Richardson, former Apple executive Rick LeFaivre, and others started meeting regularly in my office to accelerate local renewable energy. Led by Billy Mann, we initiated exploration of a community solar project and testified for renewable energy at the local and state levels. At the 2013 Sun Valley Economic Summit, I shared our local energy goals and a few months later, Idaho Power told Mayor-elect Nina Jonas they heard our community’s interest in renewable energy loud and clear. A couple of months later, Idaho Power convened the Wood River Renewable Energy Working Group to develop their first 100% renewable energy product, now a possible local community solar project. And in 2016, Blaine County adopted solar at FIVE TIMES the rate of the year before through the Sun Valley Institute’s program, Solarize Blaine.

Success has many parents, but let’s give credit to our community members for early courage and leadership. Blaine County is fortunate to have people who share their expertise and give many volunteer hours to moving our community and our state forward. The Sun Valley Institute invites you to join us to accelerate Idaho’s clean energy future, here, and far beyond.

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