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"Ontario ponders participation in pilot solar program"

The Ontario City council split 4-2 on approving motions to allow city staff to gather information on whether the city should be involved in a pilot solar power program proposed by Idaho Power Company and on whether the city should pursue an agreement with a firm to finance the project.

"Ontario ponders participation in pilot solar program"

Ontario City Council split 4-2 on approving motions to allow city staff to gather information on whether the city should be involved in a pilot solar power program. (Photo by OntarioOregon.org)

By Larry Meyer
Angus Observer
>> click here to read original article

The Ontario City Council split 4-2 on approving motions to allow city staff to gather information on whether the city should be involved in a pilot solar power program proposed by Idaho Power Company and on whether the city should pursue an agreement with a firm to finance the project.

The agenda report said an Oregon statute passed in 2009 requires power companies operating in Oregon to participate in pilot projects for solar power generation. Under its program, Idaho Power pays its customers who participate in its pilot program $0.317 per kilowatt hour during the 15-year life of the program.
 
Locations suggested for the project included the Aquatic Center, the Wastewater Treatment Plant, City Hall, the Public Works Shop, Water Treatment Plant and Ontario Golf Club.

The cost of applying for all 10 meters proposed for Ontario was $5,000, and because of the tight deadline for applications — 0ct. 3, Site Based Energy, a finance company, paid for the applications, to be paid back only if the city chooses not to proceed with the program.

Council members Norm Crume and Jackson Fox objected, stating these types of projects put the expenses on the backs of ratepayers and taxpayers.

“Idaho Power isn’t doing this on their own good will. They’re being made to do it,” Crume said.

“It’s nothing more than a new tax,” Fox said.

Councilman Ron Verini said it is appropriate for the city to explore the idea.

“It will benefit the city,” he said.

Councilor David Sullivan said he thought it would be a wise thing to pursue.

 
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