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Solar power deal involving Idaho homeowners reached

Idaho Power says the current system allows homeowners to sell power without paying their fair share to maintain the company's vast electric grid.
Credit: AP
A garage with rooftop solar panels to generate electricity for a nearby house is seen in Billings, Mont. on Thursday, May 23, 2019. Renewable energy activists want Montana regulators to reject a proposed charge for homeowners who generate surplus electricity from their own solar panels. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho utility has reached an agreement involving paying homeowners who generate electricity with rooftop solar panels and other renewable energy methods.

Idaho Power and the staff of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission on Friday submitted the agreement to the commission for its possible approval.

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The Sierra Club, city of Boise, Idaho Irrigation Pumpers Association and others also took part in the negotiations.

Idaho Power has 560,000 customers in Idaho and eastern Oregon, with increasing numbers of homeowners generating power and being credited for extra power sold back to the utility.

Idaho Power says the current system allows homeowners to sell power without paying their fair share to maintain the company's vast electric grid.

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Solar power backers fear killing incentives for homeowners to produce clean energy.

The agreement calls for the commission to hold public hearings.