Solar power, enterprise growth and the lingering effects with the recession have all factored into Idaho Energy Co.’s newest growth strategy, released this week.

The Integrated Resource Strategy explains the utility’s business enterprise program, growth predictions and future projects it hopes to spearhead inside the next 20 years.

Among the highlights:The business has witnessed a drop in power use for the very first time seeing that 2001, in accordance with the document. In 2009, energy use contracted by three.5 percent, followed by a different decline of 1.two percent in 2010. Idaho Power believes the decline is connected for the stalled client growth the business knowledgeable through the peak of the recession. The report estimates Idaho Power will regain the quantity of prospects it had before the economy soured by 2015.

Renewable power has been in the utility’s plan for some time, and Idaho Energy is again looking to renewable energy with the expectation of expanding consumers and, at some point, more power use. A series of renewable energy projects is scheduled to begin within the subsequent ten years. As opposed to in previous plans, this one incorporates a solar demonstration project.“Solar energy is actually unlike wind or natural gas,” said Mark Stokes, the company’s manager of power supply organizing. “Unlike wind, our peak energy-use days are on our hottest days when the wind isn’t blowing. Solar panels may be important for adding energy when the wind cannot.”

Even though the state will not regulate just how much of a utility’s power need to come from renewable sources, the cost of solar panels has been trending down, Stokes said. The lower fees sparked an interest among company stakeholders to begin testing solar energy use.

“We know the engineering is on the market, this will likely be a time for us to study how it might sync up with our load and integrate the energy into our process,” Stokes said.

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