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Idaho Falls Voters to Decide on Coal-Fired Power Plant

They've considered more hydroelectric plants, but depending on the water year they can be unreliable. They’ve also thought of wind turbines, but again those are only as reliable as the wind, and according to them nuclear power isn’t an option for at least 20 years.

Customers are only two months away from voting on a new coal-fired plant to provide them with electricity.

The city council and Idaho Falls Power are on a mission to educate voters about the coal plant. They say it’s critical to look to the future because the need for power is increasing alongside the explosive growth in the area. Tuesday they met with local media to talk about the new plant.

Right now there are four hydroelectric plants along the Snake River. They provide the city with about 33 percent of the power we use. The rest of our power comes from Bonneville Power, but by 2011 Bonneville Power won't be able to meet all of our needs, so that's why it’s important to look toward the future right now.

At a press conference Tuesday, Idaho Falls Power said they have narrowed in on a coal plant in Delta, Utah, because they say coal power is one of the most stable, reliable sources of energy available. It would also diversify our sources of power.

If the coal plant isn't approved by voters, it would mean buying electricity on the open market, which can be volatile.

Idaho Falls Power says property taxes will not go up as a result of the coal plant. It will be covered by electric rates. They say they... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Customers are only two months away from voting on a new coal-fired plant to provide them with electricity.

The city council and Idaho Falls Power are on a mission to educate voters about the coal plant. They say it’s critical to look to the future because the need for power is increasing alongside the explosive growth in the area. Tuesday they met with local media to talk about the new plant.

Right now there are four hydroelectric plants along the Snake River. They provide the city with about 33 percent of the power we use. The rest of our power comes from Bonneville Power, but by 2011 Bonneville Power won't be able to meet all of our needs, so that's why it’s important to look toward the future right now.

At a press conference Tuesday, Idaho Falls Power said they have narrowed in on a coal plant in Delta, Utah, because they say coal power is one of the most stable, reliable sources of energy available. It would also diversify our sources of power.

If the coal plant isn't approved by voters, it would mean buying electricity on the open market, which can be volatile.

Idaho Falls Power says property taxes will not go up as a result of the coal plant. It will be covered by electric rates. They say they are fairly certain rates would stay within the range they're in now. It may cost a couple dollars more per month because it has to be sent here from Utah. The plant that we would be buying into already has two coal-fire operations working right now. We would tap into a third that will be running by 2012.

Jackie Flowers, general manager of Idaho Falls Power, says, “We're at a point if we want to control future electric prices we have to act and take control of our destiny just as Idaho Falls always has. We want voters to get information and get educated before they go to the polls.”

They've considered more hydroelectric plants, but depending on the water year they can be unreliable. They’ve also thought of wind turbines, but again those are only as reliable as the wind, and according to them nuclear power isn’t an option for at least 20 years. They've talked to the INL about that too.

According to Idaho Falls Power, if this isn’t approved in November, there won’t be second chances. They say there are other cities and power companies that want in on the coal plant.

For more information, there will be a public meeting on Thursday at the city hall chambers. They're also planning a trip to tour the coal plant. The public is invited to that also.


Source: http://www.localnews8.com/n...

SEP 6 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/4386-idaho-falls-voters-to-decide-on-coal-fired-power-plant
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