Letters From the West

Inovus Solar teams up with Idaho Power on net-zero lighting

Inovus Solar street lights

Inovus Solar street lights

Boise solar and energy efficiency pioneer Inovus Solar is touting its new partnership with Idaho Power.

Inovus helped Idaho Power to achieve net-zero lighting at its downtown Boise parking lot with its solar enhanced light poles. These poles and LED lights generate as much power over the course of a year as the lightings themselves consume, while still meeting existing light levels for safety.

The 17 LED lights save 21,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, and will continue to do it or 20 years with no maintenance, Inovus said in a release.

“Idaho Power has been sustainable for a century,” said Norma Peralta Inovus vice president of services. “That’s a proud boast. Now it’s becoming Net-Zero too.”

The partnership shows that even as Idaho Power is fighting to continue its investment in its coal plants, it is looking into the smart grid future that Inovus hopes to be a big player.

The fast-growing solar company also offers Idaho Power a new message that could help it and Boise benefit from this new energy world.

It points out that Boise ranks third in the West for tech innovation and has become one of the centers of the renewable energy business in the region.

“Idaho Power has delivered renewable energy for nearly 100 years,” Peralta said. “The bulk of their energy comes from 17 hydroelectric plants, largely eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.

“But with growing population and energy consumption, planners are looking for new technologies to maximize energy efficiency,” she said.

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West