On April 15th, 2008, we were pleased to hear from Jim Webb, President and CEO of Lower Valley Energy. You can see his presentation in PowerPoint Format by clicking here, and in HTML format by clicking here.

He told us that there is a lot going on in the power industry right now. Lower Valley Energy's mission statement and its goals revolve around (1) Reliability, (2) Competitive Rates, and (3) Exceptional Service. The sources of power generation in the US are: Coal-50%, Nuclear-20%, Natural Gas-19%, Hydro-8%, Renewables-2.5%, and Wind-.5%. "Renewables" is defined as solar, wind, small hydro, bio-mass, geo-thermal, methane, etc.

There are not a lot of new power plants being built right now. People feel that coal is bad, nuclear is dangerous, hydro-electric has many groups against it, wind is not reliable, and gas is expensive. However, our use and need will grow 30-40% over the next few years. Rates should stay flat through 2011. We purchase through Bonneville Power on their Tier 1 and Tier 2 plans. Our use from the Strawberry plant is growing 2 milli-watts/year. Presently, wholesale power is selling for between .5 cents/mw - 10 cents/mw, and retail is selling for about 4.8 cents/mw.

We presently get our power from the Wanapom plant, and the Priest Rapids Hydro plant, both in Idaho. LVE has many projects in the works for other sources. This summer Swift Creek will be built, along with conservation initiatives, and the Jackson Lake Hydro plant may come into being. There are two pipelines getting built for natural gas. One is coming from Big Piney (Mirna) to us, and another from Moranto through Soda Springs through Smoot. LVE is also setting up automatic meter reading through communications, rather than having a person drive around reading them. This should lower LVE's overhead and produce a savings to their customers.

Q: It was asked if LVE will help consumers set up and use solar power installations. Not a lot, but LVE will be their "battery". Any excess of power generated by a consumer's solar cells can be sent "up the line" to LVE, which will store it or give credit for any power sent their way. Then when the consumer needs it, it will be given back.

Presently, propane is the most expensive source of power, with fuel oil second, natural gas third, and electric is cheapest. On a national rate comparison, LVE is selling electricity at 4.8 cents, Wyoming as a State is at 7.5 cents, and the National Average is at 10.3 cents.

Get more info by visiting their web site at: http://www.lvenergy.com, or by calling them at 307-885-3175.