(Boise) – Revenue is generated from Idaho endowment lands in many ways, including through leasing agreements. So far, only one wind turbine in eastern Idaho is built on these lands. Now, the Idaho Department of Lands is looking to lease potentially thousands of acres in southwest Idaho for an alternative energy project.

Multiple businesses have approached IDL with alternative energy plans after Idaho Power unveiled a goal to provide 100-percent clean energy by 2045. The first proposal for endowment land is in Elmore County. If a lease agreement is made, more than 6,000 acres could have either wind turbines or solar panels.

Leasing endowment land is unique because a proposed use of the land is shared publicly to allow other interested parties to compete to use the land for the same purpose. This provides fair opportunity for endowment land leasing while also generating the best long-term financial return to the beneficiaries, which are primarily Idaho schools.

A print advertisement for an alternative energy lease will run in Elmore County starting this week. The lease advertisement can also be seen on the IDL website. The deadline for proposals for leasing the land is September 1, 2020. An alternative energy project could be built at the location in about three years.

“Idaho Power’s clean energy goal has really opened the floodgates for companies looking to Idaho as an option for wind and solar,” said Josh Purkiss, IDL Real Estate Program Manager. “Companies have pointed out multiple locations on endowment lands in southern Idaho that are ideal.”

IDL’s Energy Resource Leasing program is expected to expand with more proposals, meaning there will be more opportunities for businesses, as well as for more “alternative” ways to generate funding for Idaho schools and other beneficiaries.

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