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Idaho Energy Freedom Offers Strong Support for Lava Ridge Wind Project

After reviewing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analysis, Idaho Energy Freedom (IEF) has announced its public support of the new alternative for the proposed Lava Ridge Wind Project. 

Peter Richardson is a longtime energy attorney and chairman of the grassroots clean energy advocacy nonprofit. 

“Idaho is in the business of exporting a lot of things, from potato chips to computer chips,” he said. “Why wouldn’t we also export electricity to our neighbors?”

As Richardson told the Idaho Capital Sun, Idahoans consume about 61% more electricity than is generated, resulting in the need to import energy from other states. Idaho Governor Brad Little’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources’ Energy Landscape Report states that while 40% of the state’s electricity comes from Idaho utilities, nearly 40% more comes from out of state electricity providers.

Here is the full statement issued by IEF’s chairman, Peter Richardson, on behalf of the Advisory Council:

The Final EIS shows that the BLM’s process worked, and that the agency listened to and engaged stakeholders in their concerns regarding water quality and grazing. In reviewing the document, it’s clear that important concessions were made based on feedback from the community, including reducing the total number of turbines to protect the interests of the Minidoka National Historic Site. The final EIS balances the dire need for more clean energy options in Idaho and our nation. We hope our state leaders will recognize how positive this project is for our state. 

Additionally, Richardson praised Magic Valley Energy’s commitment to setting aside some of the project’s wind power for Idaho residents’ use and encouraged Idaho utilities to take full advantage of that opportunity.

In March 2023, IEF announced its support of the Lava Ridge Wind Project as a vital step toward advancing clean energy in the state. 

According to the BLM, the final EIS does not constitute a final decision on the project. The agency will prepare a Record of Decision (ROD) and will notify the public of the availability of the ROD no sooner than 30 days after the final EIS NOA is published.

For further details of the BLM final EIS, refer to the BLM’s release.

*This blog has been updated to correct an inadvertent error.

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