Wind Energy Choice for Utah Power Customers

Utah Power customers can show their support for renewable power by participating in the company’s voluntary Blue Sky wind energy program. Customers will find a brochure with their next billing statement with information about the option. Recently approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, the voluntary program was first launched in 2000, and is also offered in Utah, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington.

Rexburg, Idaho – September 30, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] For an additional US$1.95 per month each, residential and business customers can buy 100-kWh block increments of Blue Sky, which supports the production of electricity generated from new wind power facilities. “Blue Sky is a great way for customers to have a role in growing the demand for renewable power,” said Glen Pond, Utah Power’s regional community manager. “By supporting renewables, we reduce the region’s dependence on less environmental friendly power sources, help improve air quality and help make a positive impact on the environment. We already have an excellent foundation of support in other states with nearly 11,400 homes and businesses enrolled.” Utah Power purchases energy from renewable wind generation equal to the number of Blue Sky blocks customers buy. These purchases are in addition to Utah Power’s own efforts to bring more renewable power into the system. “In addition to Blue Sky purchases, Utah Power agreed to purchase the power from a new 41-megawatt wind farm in Oregon, and we plan to bring an additional 1,400 megawatts of renewables, mostly wind, in the next 10 years,” Pond said. “That’s enough power for about 409,000 homes.” Environmental advocacy groups, such as Renewable Northwest Project and the Utah Wind Campaign have partnered with Utah Power to recruit customers to the program. Further, customer support has helped increase the demand for wind power, and has helped lower its price. Last May, Utah Power lowered the price of Blue Sky from $2.95 per 100-kWh block to $1.95. “We’re thrilled to see that 60,000 more customers in Idaho will have the option of supporting renewable power,” said Natalie McIntire, green power programs manager for Renewable Northwest Project. “Utah Power has one of the most successful green power programs in the country, and we believe its participants are helping grow the market for renewables in the region.” Sign-ups in Idaho already have begun. Staples Inc. was the first business to enroll in the Blue Sky Program for all its stores in the PacifiCorp service area when it purchased a total of 517 blocks for 20 stores located in Idaho, Washington and Utah, accounting for 10 percent of the stores’ overall energy usage with PacifiCorp.
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