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Solarizing the Treasure Valley, One Roof At a Time

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Twenty solar panels were installed atop the west Boise home of Barbara Cochrane. - AJ BLACK
  • AJ Black
  • Twenty solar panels were installed atop the west Boise home of Barbara Cochrane.
Barbara Cochrane proudly pointed to the nearly two dozen 50-pound solar panels on the rooftop of her west Boise home the morning of June 20.

“Why would [people] not opt for clean energy that also offers an economic boost?” Cochrane said. “Converting to solar is the intelligent thing to do. Working with the Snake River Alliance and Altenergy has been a nonstop pleasure.”

The solar panel installation was completed by Virginia-based Altenergy Inc., which has two offices in Idaho. The company connected with Cochrane through Solarize the Valley, a program of Snake River Alliance. Since the beginning of the program in May 2016, 49 Treasure Valley homes have received similar solar panel installations.

Cochrane, a 35-year veteran educator at South Junior High, said the energy savings from the 20 solar panels atop her 2-bed, 2.5-bath home should recoup her installation costs within 11 years. Other incentives include state and federal tax credits.

“Idaho’s energy is already fifty percent from hydroelectric,” said Snake River Alliance Executive Director Wendy Wilson. “If Idaho replaces coal and natural gas with wind and solar power, we could be 100% green. It’s not so far-fetched.”
Barbara Cochrane (left) and Snake River Alliance Executive Director Wendy Wilson (right) - AJ BLACK
  • AJ Black
  • Barbara Cochrane (left) and Snake River Alliance Executive Director Wendy Wilson (right)



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