The state of solar power in Idaho

Idaho already produces a great deal of its energy from sustainable sources like hydroelectric dams, so it hasn’t progressed as much as it otherwise might have on solar energy. Yet it still ranks 21st nationally in total solar power production, and with both the national and state tax deductions offered, solar is poised to continue growing. Idaho gets plenty of sun on average, making it a terrific place for switching to solar.


How much solar power does Idaho produce?

As of the 3rd quarter of 2019, Idaho has invested a total of 636.80 million dollars in solar power, including some high-profile installations, such as Grandview PV Solar Two. At 108 MW, Grandview is the largest installation in the state and generates over a fifth of Idaho’s total production of 494.49 MW.

As a whole, Idaho produces enough solar energy to power 65,257 homes. Solar power produces 3.45 percent of the state’s total energy, which still lags behind the top solar producing sectors of the country. But this is also a reflection of Idaho’s abundant hydroelectric energy, which keeps overall energy costs low, and decreases the demand for solar power.

Is solar power generation feasible in Idaho?

It might not seem like it, but Idaho receives a great deal of sunlight per year, ranking 16th out of 50 states for total exposure to the sun. On average, the state sees around 200 sunny days a year. Factoring in state tax incentives as well as net-metering, solar power is a terrific option for customers.

With its hydroelectric power, Idaho already has excellent resources for sustainable energy, but thanks to increasingly friendly solar power policies, tax credits, and rebates, it’s on pace to capture almost 4 percent of its total energy from solar.

There are 73 solar companies currently operating in Idaho, including SunPower, so there are more than a few options to have solar installed at your home or business.

How much does solar cost in Idaho?

Idaho goes solar with SunPower

With the upfront costs of a standard solar system, prospective customers may feel a little sticker shock. Installing solar comes with a hefty price tag, but when you take into account Idaho’s tax incentives and the energy company’s net metering, the overall cost decreases dramatically.

Keep in mind, Idaho Power Utilities also provide net metering, allowing you to sell unused power back to them, which further decreases your cost and savings overall. Net metering is a fantastic way to avoid the need for battery banks and ensures you have power at night or when it’s cloudy.

What legal considerations affect solar power in Idaho?

Though Idaho may not be the first state you think of when solar power comes up, the state provides a superb tax incentive package for prospective solar customers.

Idaho offers a 40 percent deduction on the cost of your solar unit on your state taxes in the first year after installation, with 20 percent deductions each year afterward for three years.* The maximum deduction each year is $5,000, meaning a possible total of $20,000 in the first four years.

These incentives, in addition to the federal tax credit* and net-metering friendly stance of many power suppliers in the state, might be the reason Idaho moved up in the total state solar rankings from 2018. Beyond the federal tax credit, which is being phased out in 2022, there’s no current indication of these programs ending anytime soon—but it’s still a good idea to take advantage of them while you can.

  • *. Incentives, rebates, and tax credits vary and are subject to change. SunPower does not warrant, guarantee or otherwise advise its customers about specific tax outcomes or their ability to qualify for local incentives. Consult your tax advisor regarding the solar tax credit and how it applies to your specific circumstances. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. Incentives, rebates, and tax credits vary and are subject to change. SunPower does not warrant, guarantee or otherwise advise its customers about specific tax outcomes or their ability to qualify for local incentives. Consult your tax advisor regarding the solar tax credit and how it applies to your specific circumstances. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.

How can I start using solar in Idaho?

Idaho provides several incentives for residents to make the switch to solar power for homes and businesses alike. Using the expertise of SunPower, you can embark on the process of taking advantage of state and federal programs and start saving on energy costs today.

Start with SunPower. Whether you are a homeowner, business or homebuilder, SunPower has services and products to suit your needs. Request a free savings estimate to get started and find out how much you can save with SunPower® solar.


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