Idaho's green energy push is very different than that of other states and countries. It has offered few tax incentives and has never established so-called renewable energy portfolio standards - which require utilities to use so much green power- to promote the industry.
So what's Idaho got to sell?
Earlier this month, Chinese-owned Hoku Scientific began producing polysilicon for use in solar panels at its new $390 millionplant in Pocatello. Economic development officials there say they have three other energy companies looking to build in eastern Idaho that could bring more than $100 million in investment. Officials could know by June whether one has committed to Idaho, and by the end of the year for the rest.
"Hoku just fired up the plant and they're off to the races," Little said.
Micron Technology recently forged a partnership with Australian power giant Origin Energy to develop solar power technologies that is expected to lead to commercialization within 18 months. The U.S. Department of Energy, through the Idaho Office of Energy Resources, awarded Micron a $5 million grant to help it enter into the light emitting diode (LED) high-efficiency lighting market that is expected to take off by 2012.
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