IDAHO FALLS -- Idaho Falls Power is seeking community ideas and input as the public power utility pursues federal funding for local energy infrastructure.
The city’s municipal electric utility is in the middle of a once-in-a-generation national investment through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. As Idaho Falls Power proceeds through a grant application process, the city reflects on a 122-year history of community involvement to create one of the nation's most affordable, reliable, and responsible energy utilities.
“Idaho Falls Power sits in a unique position where our community-owned utility can compete for infrastructure funding that could potentially be tens of millions of dollars,” said Idaho Falls Power General Manager Bear Prairie. “Idaho Falls Power has a successful history of working with the U.S. Department of Energy on advanced energy technology deployment projects, including when we retrofitted our hydropower in the late 1970s. As we move through this grant process, we want to engage our community, the lifeblood of our not-for-profit, community-owned utility that keeps the lights on for over 30,000 homes and businesses.”
The competitive funding announcement from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act came just before Thanksgiving. Idaho Falls Power, which has already been looking well into the utility’s future needs and capabilities, was expecting the announcement and hit the ground running to pursue it.
“We truly value all ideas and perspectives as we interact with key community stakeholders and organizations, ” Prairie said. “When planning for future projects for Idaho Falls Power, we need to look at how we can maximize the benefits of this infrastructure funding throughout the community.”
Idaho Falls Power is looking to develop plans involving community labor and engagement, quality jobs and job training; diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility; and enabling disadvantaged communities. Idaho Falls Power invites community members and businesses to dialogue between now and the end of January.
For those interested in participating in the conversation about the future of Idaho Falls Power and how to improve our community, contact Wid Richie, energy services manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If Idaho Falls Power receives the grant, it will allow federal dollars to come back to Idaho Falls, funding necessary infrastructure improvements rather than paying traditionally through electric rates directly from our customers.
“Idaho Falls has a long history of providing affordable and reliable power to our community for generations,” said Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper. “The creation of our first hydroelectric facility in 1900 started as an idea. Similarly, we find ourselves in a position to develop new concepts, ideas and plans that will benefit our city for generations to come.”
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Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact City of Idaho Falls Public Information Officer Eric Grossarth at (208) 612-8562 or at email@example.com.