Idaho is renowned for its abundance of renewable energy sources, such as hydropower and wind power. Five of the ten largest generating facilities in the state are powered by these two sources, and Idaho Power also purchases energy from wind projects and other clean energy sources, such as geothermal energy. To ensure reliable service to customers, the state also produces energy from three natural gas plants. The Post Falls hydroelectric project on the Spokane River in northern Idaho is a prime example of renewable energy in action.
This project has been operational since 1906, supplying electricity to local industries. In 1972, the utility completed a major reconstruction and rehabilitation of the project, and in 1992 a new underground power plant and generator were installed. This project has been an important source of electricity for operating mines, mills, factories, cities, businesses and railroads in northern Idaho and eastern Washington. In addition to hydropower, natural gas is another renewable energy source that is used in Post Falls.
While Idaho has recently begun developing natural gas production in southwestern Idaho, most of the state's natural gas is supplied through two interstate gas pipelines and three natural gas distribution services. Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) filling stations can also be found throughout the United States and Canada. Falls Park is another example of renewable energy innovation in Post Falls. This park was built by a group of citizens from the community along the North Channel of the Spokane River to improve recreational opportunities at the Post Falls facility site.
During spring floods, visitors can enjoy the splendor of water that falls through the landfills of centuries-old dams and through 15-meter-high natural waterfalls. Washington Water Power also built a 60-kilovolt (kV) transmission line from its Spokane generating plants to the construction site. This line was used to supply power to mines located nearly 100 miles away through the world's longest high-voltage transmission line. For more information about oil and gas development in Idaho, visit the Idaho Department of Lands website at www.