Idaho's first big solar plant to be built soon

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho's first big solar energy project could begin construction soon, a bright spot for alternative energy developers that are wrangling with regulators and utilities over their future.

Solar panels for the Grandview Solar PV I have been delivered to a 180-acre field leased from the J.R. Simplot Co. southeast of Boise.

Mark Scher is the Albany, N.Y.-based energy developer who purchased the project more than a year ago from an Idaho group.

He told The Associated Press construction could begin "within the next few weeks."

Scher has a contract with Idaho Power Co. to sell an average 10 megawatts of electricity and aims to begin operations in January.

Idaho Power now buys only minimal solar electricity, from customers who feed power from their panels back into the grid.