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University to receive cash incentive from Idaho Power for reducing strain on power grid

This summer, Boise State participated in the Flex Peak program from Idaho Power which incentivizes commercial and industrial customers to reduce their electric load when demand for energy is high. The university and Idaho Power agreed upon weekly demand reduction targets during peak events, and a cash incentive will be paid based on the university’s overall success at meeting these goals.

When Idaho Power projected there would be peak demand on their grid during evening hours in the summer, they issued a request for electric use reductions. The university quickly worked to identify opportunities for HVAC and lighting load reductions across campus. These were implemented in close collaboration with building coordinators and cross-referenced against the registrar’s class schedule to avoid disrupting classes, events and research. The program saw seven events called this summer and the university met its goals all but once, on a day when extensive fall semester evening classes reduced the ability to implement demand reduction measures.

“Thanks to the great work from our HVAC, building automation, custodial and dispatch teams we were able to exceed our target during six events,” said Boise State’s Director of Energy and Utilities, Brian Emtman. “The quick work of these teams to respond really benefits the university, as well as our regional power grid. I appreciate how supportive the entire campus community has been of this effort.”

During the summer 2022 Flex Peak events the university:

  • Reduced demand during events by an average of 968 kW. This is equivalent to the electric demand of more than 150 typical households.
  • Earned an incentive payment of over $18,000 from Idaho Power.

This was the university’s first time participating in the program and representatives from Idaho Power congratulated Boise State on the “very impressive results” for its first season.