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AEHI Signs Agreement on New Backup Nuclear Site in Idaho July 28, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Elmore County, Payette County, rural nuclear.
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AEHI Secures Superior Backup Site to Elmore County

BOISE, Idaho, Jul 28, 2010 — Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:AEHI) (www.aehipower.com), an independent developer of large-scale nuclear and green energy projects, including nuclear power plants and nuclear desalination reactors, today announced a purchase agreement on a new backup site for a proposed nuclear power plant in Payette County, Idaho.

AEHI CEO Don Gillispie stated, “Our excellent primary site of 5,000 acres is also in Payette County and because of the overwhelming support AEHI has already received in that part of Idaho, we felt it was fitting to look at an additional site in the same area.”

The new backup site involves 6,000 acres adjacent to the primary site and includes a number of benefits that complement both sites such as water rights, transmission right-of-ways, the ability for future expansion. And like the primary site, it also passes preliminary standards required to build a nuclear power plant.

“While we still have an application on what is now a tertiary site in Elmore County, Idaho, about 100 miles southeast from Payette, the Elmore County Commissioners have yet to make a decision on our application after well over a year and continue to show uncertainty in their deliberations. As an investor-owned company, it is vital to focus our attention and resources on better sites where residents and local governments continue to show definitive interest,” Gillispie stated.

The proposed plant has met with large-scale support at all local hearings; better than 80 percent support has been witnessed at every hearing in Payette County.

“This large plant will offer jobs, financial security and opportunity that many people in the community are looking for. It’s the same message we continually hear every time we attend one of the hearings. It’s also the reason county commissioners unanimously approved the next-to-last step in the rezone process on the basis that only a nuclear power plant could locate on the property,” said Gillispie.

According to a recent study, the proposed plant is expected to create around 5,000 jobs through the construction phase and more than 1,000 jobs during operations. Pay levels for those jobs will average $60,000 and $80,000, respectively.

The projected revenue for the county and state is staggering. During construction alone, the project should increase Idaho’s GDP by $5.3 billion, while $4.8 billion will flow directly through Payette County.

About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (http://www.AlternateEnergyHoldings.com) — Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources. The company is the nation’s only independent nuclear power plant developer seeking to build new power plants in multiple non-nuclear states. Other projects include Energy Neutral(TM), which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (http://www.EnergyNeutralinc.com) Colorado Energy Park (nuclear and solar generation), and Green World Water(TM), which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation (http://www.GreenWorld-H2O.com), production of potable water and other suitable applications. AEHI China, headquartered in Beijing, develops joint ventures to produce nuclear plant components and consults on nuclear power.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “target,” “optimistic,” “intend,” “aim,” “will” or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements include, among others, those concerning our expected financial performance and strategic and operational plans, as well as all assumptions, expectations, predictions, intentions or beliefs about future events, including our ability to list on a national securities exchange. These statements are based on the beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to us and reflect our current view concerning future events. As such, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among many others: our significant operating losses; our limited operating history; uncertainty of capital resources; the speculative nature of our business; our ability to successfully implement new strategies; present and possible future governmental regulations; operating hazards; competition; the loss of key personnel; any of the factors in the “Risk Factors” section of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recently completed fiscal year; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. You should also carefully review the reports that we file with the SEC. We assume no obligation, and do not intend, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

###

Payette County Commissioners expected to vote on AEHI proposed nuclear power plant April 23, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, approval process, Payette County, public opinion, rural nuclear, Uncategorized.
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EAGLE, IDAHO – April 23, 2010 – Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: AEHI) — Payette County Commissioners are expected to announce their decision Monday, April 26th at 11:00 AM concerning a change to the county’s comprehensive plan.  If approved, it would open the door to a proposal to build a nuclear power plant near New Plymouth, Idaho.

Commissioners currently have four different plan changes to choose from, all of which work very well for a nuclear power plant.  Should they choose the AEHI proposal, the company can then move forward on plans to rezone the property from agricultural to industrial.

“The county and an overwhelming majority of residents have already spoken out at a number of public meetings, telling the commissioners they want nuclear power in their community, and I believe the commissioners paid close attention to those requests,” said Don Gillispie, AEHI CEO.

The change to the comprehensive plan not only makes it possible to use the 5,000 acre parcel near Big Willow Road and Stone Quarry Road for industrial purposes, but it is worded specifically for a nuclear power plant.  This means the plan would allow for an industrial complex on the land only if that complex is a nuclear power plant.

The proposal has met with a great deal of support in Payette County, since the plant is expected to produce around 5,000 jobs through construction, and more than 1,000 jobs during operations.  Those jobs average $60,000 and $80,000 respectively.

The revenue during construction is also attractive to the county and the state.  Idaho will see an increase of $5.3 billion to its GDP and $4.8 billion of that money will flow directly through Payette County.

About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (http://www.alternateenergyholdings.com/) — Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources. The company is the nation’s only independent nuclear power plant developer seeking to build new power plants in multiple non-nuclear states. Other projects include Energy Neutral, which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (http://www.energyneutralinc.com/), Colorado Energy Park (nuclear and solar generation), and International Reactors, which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation, production of potable water and other suitable applications. AEHI China, headquartered in Beijing, develops joint ventures to produce nuclear plant components and consults on nuclear power. AEHI Korea, Seoul, is assisting KEPCO (Korea Electric Power Corporation) to export their APR 1400 reactor into the US and achieve NRC design certification.

“Safe Harbor” Statement: This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Sections 27A & 21E of the amended Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933-34, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby. Although AEHI believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, there can be no assurance that these statements included in this press release will prove accurate. As a result, investors should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

AEHI optimistic about upcoming decisions in Payette & Elmore Counties April 13, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, approval process, Colorado, Elmore County, Payette County, rural nuclear.
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PAYETTE, IDAHO: April 12, 2010, Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: AEHI) — Payette County Commissioners today delayed a decision on a comprehensive plan change until April 26th. The two weeks will give them enough time to discuss a few other potential changes that deal with bringing any kind of power producer into the county.

“This is good news for AEHI. While we would have hoped for a decision in our favor today, all the proposed improvements to the comprehensive plan involve changes that work very well for a nuclear power plant,” said Don Gillispie, AEHI CEO.

An overwhelming majority of Payette County residents have told commissioners in public hearings they want the plant, and more specifically the jobs and revenue a nuclear power plant will provide. Last year AEHI applied for a rezone of property near Hammett in Elmore County and was even permitted a series of public hearings on the application, but county commissioners never made a decision.

“They are now back to the table. While Elmore County Commissioners backtracked a little bit, they have accomplished a lot in very short amount of time. The Planning and Zoning Commission is about to move forward on a change to their comprehensive plan and once they do the county commissioners could approve it and immediately approve our rezone application since it’s already been through the public hearing process. I never thought I’d see Elmore County back in the game, but at this point they could surpass Payette County in the approval process by the end of the month,” said Gillispie.

The process has been of tremendous interest to the people of Idaho since the proposed plant is expected to increase the state’s GDP by $5 billion during construction, with $4.8 billion flowing directly through the county. Job numbers are equally impressive, as employment should jump by about 5,000 during construction and more than 1,000 during operation, with pay levels averaging $60,000 and $80,000 respectively.

About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (http://www.alternateenergyholdings.com/) — Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources. The c ompany is the nation’s only independent nuclear power plant developer seeking to build new power plants in multiple non-nuclear states. Other projects include Energy Neutral™, which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (http://www.energyneutralinc.com/), Colorado Energy Park (nuclear and solar generation), and International Reactors, which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation, production of potable water and other suitable applications. AEHI China, headquartered in Beijing, develops joint ventures to produce nuclear plant components and consults on nuclear power. AEHI Korea, Seoul, is assisting KEPCO (Korea Electric Power Corporation) to export their APR 1400 reactor into the US and achieve NRC design certification.

“Safe Harbor” Statement: This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Sections 27A & 21E of the amended Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933-34, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby. Although AEHI believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, there can be no assurance that these statements included in this press release will prove accurate. As a result, investors should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. ###

Best wishes to the Fresno Nuclear Energy Group January 4, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Agriculture, Areva, economic benefits, rural nuclear.
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Our process for building a nuclear reactor is revolutionary – a small, purpose-designed company using investor money – but I am pleased to note others who are willing to try this way of doing it. Large utilities, I believe, are be too unwieldy and indecisive to build a greenfield nuclear plant, leaving smaller, dedicated, investor-funded companies to fill the void.

The Fresno Nuclear Energy Group, launched in December 2006, has recently partnered with Areva to examine the idea of building one or two 1,650 megawatt nuclear plants in Central California. We wish the Fresno group luck – and they will need it, as California state law has banned any new nuclear generation and the state government is a political and financial basket case. Our California counterparts have public opinion in their favor, as at least half of Californians support nuclear energy, according to a recent poll. California has some of the highest energy rates in the nation, which is hurting its economy, and the Fresno group knows that nuclear can provide abundant, reliable low-cost power to attract and keep industries. California currently gets 17 percent of its electricity from its nuclear plants and 55 percent from fossil, including coal and natural gas.

The Fresno group and Areva are taking a cue from our efforts by proposing to use the immense power of a nuclear plant to desalinate water and use it for agriculture, a concept we publicly announced in July 2008 in connection with our efforts in Mexico. We expect they will also propose to use the abundant excess heat from a nuclear reactor to underwrite biofuels production and other initiatives in California’s agriculturally rich Central Valley.

Local approval of nuclear plant rezone could lead to as many as 100 short-term jobs this coming spring, according to company November 23, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, approval process, errata, nuclear industry, nuclear jobs, Payette County, rural nuclear.
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[The first version of this news release erroneously stated the county where people may send supportive testimony for the Payette County nuclear plant; this error has been corrected in the version below]

Local approval of nuclear plant rezone could lead to as many as 100 short-term jobs this coming spring, according to company
Testimony ran 2-to1 in favor of plant at last week’s public hearing

Nov. 23, 2009

For more information:

Don Gillispie, 209-939-9311

http://aehipower.com

http://facebook.com/aehipower

http://twitter.com/aehi

Testimony for a proposed nuclear plant at a hearing last week was 2 to 1 in favor and the company says it may start hiring a few dozen people locally as early as next spring, assuming the county rezones the land.

“Discounting the usual anti-nuclear group speakers from around the state – who have no vested interest in Payette’s land use – the ratio was closer to 3 to 1 in favor,” said Don Gillispie, CEO of Alternate Energy Holdings Inc.

Gillispie said preliminary site assessment will create an immediate need for drillers, surveyors, earth movers, contractors, laborers and other well-paying jobs.

“Our proposed power plant will put thousands of people to work when construction hits full stride, but preliminary site assessment this spring may start employing workers in the short-term,” Gillispie said. “According to economic projections, the project will create 4,000 to 5,000 jobs during the construction phase, which could start as soon as 2013.”

However, a limited amount of work will need to take place this spring for site study. For example, a meteorological tower and some simple outbuildings will need to be constructed and some grading done. Well drillers will be hired to take core samples and surveyors to stake out preliminary locations. Basic electrical service will also be brought to the site, requiring electricians.

All of this work will be in preparation for an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Gillispie hopes to make an initial NRC application in the spring of 2011 (the company must collect a least a year’s worth of meteorological data).

Gillispie said these jobs heavily depend on local approval of the comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning of the land, as these will unlock additional investment. He encouraged people to send resumes and letters of interest to info@aehipower.com and to send supportive testimony to Payette County at lroyston@payettecounty.org pr imachuca@payettecounty.org prior to the Dec. 10 deadline. AEHI also expects to have an informational video up on its Web site www.aehipower.com by Tuesday.

“We have lots of investors, including large institutional investors, who are watching the approval process closely,” Gillispie said. “Naturally, they are seeing if we can at least make it over the first hurdle before they consider loaning money for site prep work.”

AEHI considered building a plant in Owyhee County in 2007 and early 2008, until discovery of a geological fault stopped the project. With no other suitable sites in Owyhee County, the company turned its efforts to Elmore County, where the rezone request has been delayed for over a year with no vote on the application. Nevertheless, the company has spent a total of $10 million in these two counties to date – and most of the money was spent in Idaho, creating the equivalent of approximately 200 jobs.

“The closer companies and contractors are to Payette County, the more employment priority we will give them, and those located in the county will get highest priority of all,” Gillispie said. “We will also be going through a stack of hundreds of resumes we have collected from people at a jobs booth in April, and resumes and letters of interest people have sent us over the years.”

AEHI has filed to amend the Payette County comprehensive plan and rezone some 500 acres of a 5,100 acre parcel; the remaining 4,600 acres will remain ag and serve as a buffer.

At a hearing last week before the county planning and zoning commission, about two dozen Payette County and Idaho residents said the plant is needed to bring safe, secure employment and clean industry to the county. The P and Z commission will discuss the issue on Thursday, Dec. 10 and are expected to make a recommendation to the Payette County Commission on that date.

The county commission will hold another hearing and vote on the rezone, possibly by year’s end. Rezone approval will then allow pre-COLA (Nuclear Regulatory Commission Application) preparations to begin in the first quarter of 2010.

“As current national polls show 75 percent of Americans support new nuclear power plants, communities are openly inviting nuclear developers to consider their location as a potential site,” Gillispie said. “It is certainly refreshing to see this change, but not surprising considering the extensive benefits of these plants. It is apparent our new Idaho county is up to the competitive challenge in processing our application in a timely fashion.”

The nuclear industry is already putting people to work. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, “nuclear energy is one of the few bright spots in the US economy – expanding rather than contracting.” An NEI report says the prospect of new plant construction in has already stimulated considerable investment and job creation among companies that supply the nuclear industry:  “Over the last several years, the nuclear industry has invested over $4 billion in new nuclear plant development and plans to invest approximately $8 billion in the next several years to be in a position to start construction in 2011-2012.” In the course of this, NEI said, “private investment in new nuclear power plants has created an estimated 14,000-15,000 jobs.” The number of new jobs “will expand dramatically after 2011 when the first wave of these new nuclear projects starts construction.”

About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (www.alternateenergyholdings.com)

Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources. The company is the nation’s only publicly traded independent nuclear power plant developer willing to build power plants in non-nuclear states. Other projects include, Energy Neutral which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (www.energyneutralinc.com), Colorado Energy Park (nuclear and solar generation), and International Reactors, which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation, production of potable water and other suitable applications. Also, AEHI China, headquartered in Beijing, develops joint ventures to produce nuclear plant components and consults on nuclear power.

“Safe Harbor” Statement: This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Sections 27A & 21E of the amended Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933-34, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby. Although AEHI believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, there can be no assurance that these statements included in this press release will prove accurate.

 

Moving forward on multiple locations October 30, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Payette County, rural nuclear.
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Press Release

9:15 AM EDT

Oct. 30, 2009

AEHI expects Idaho nuclear site approval soon and seeks new states to build more plants to address “Global Warming”

Boise, Idaho, October 30, 2009 Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (OTC: AEHI.PK): AEHI projects at least one of their Idaho nuclear sites will receive local approval early in the first quarter of 2010. The approval will trigger investments predominantly from international sources for the plant site.

 

In addition to the Colorado site, the company is seeking other states that have indicated interest in an advanced reactor including Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nevada and Utah.

 

Don Gillispie, AEHI CEO and a 45 year nuclear industry veteran said, The EPA recently projected 180 new nuclear reactors would be needed to significantly reduce US emissions and meet energy needs by 2050. However, they did not consider that most of the nation’s 104 nuclear reactors would be past their useful life. Therefore, almost 300 new reactors would actually be needed while only 30 or so are planned. If the large regulated utilities are not going to help with this challenge by replacing their coal plants with clean nuclear, we certainly are willing and actively seeking new sites and investors to help address this critical problem. If we build electric cars to reduce emissions, but our utilities continue to build carbon power plants like coal and natural gas we have gained nothing environmentally.”

 

About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (www.alternateenergyholdings.com)

Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources. The company is the nation’s only publicly traded independent nuclear power plant developer willing to build power plants in non-nuclear states. Other projects include, Energy Neutral which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (www.energyneutralinc.com), Colorado Energy Park (nuclear and solar generation), and International Reactors, which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation, production of potable water and other suitable applications. Also, AEHI China, headquartered In Beijing, develops joint ventures to produce nuclear plant components and consults on nuclear power.

Safe Harbor Statement: This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Sections 27A & 21E of the amended Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933-34, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby. Although AEHI believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, there can be no assurance that these statements included in this press release will prove accurate.

US Investor Relations:

208-939-9311

invest@aehipower.com

 

Economic opportunity in Elmore County June 11, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Agriculture, economic benefits, Elmore County, rural nuclear.
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There’s an important subtext in the controversy about our proposed nuclear power plant in Elmore County. It’s uncomfortable and sensitive to discuss, but it needs to be done.

This is an issue of economic and social justice.  Yes, we seek to enrich ourselves and our investors by building a power plant and, in the American spirit of capitalism, create a useful product, create family-wage jobs and do our part keeping society running (the same could be said of any successful farm, factory or business). If our plans are defeated, the Snake River Alliance will go back to their homes in Sun Valley and Boise’s North End, the farmers will go back to their farms, and the two groups will likely never speak to each other again after popping the champagne. Meanwhile, issues of social and economic justice in Elmore County will remain unaddressed.

I believe the SRA and a few vocal Hammett-area farmers have little interest in bringing more well-paying jobs to the area, because any such proposal is totally absent from their plans. The only reason farmers and environmental activists even talk to each other in this case is because they share a common goal in stopping our power plant. Beyond that, they have no hopes or dreams, other than to keep things just as they are.

The Snake River Alliance and their newfound allies, some Hammett-area farmers, have collected 100 petition signatures against rezoning the land for our plant. I seriously doubt, though, the SRA and friends sought petition signatures at food assistance lines, at downtowns, at trailer parks, at senior centers, or at a jobs fair of their own creation. We did and collected 1,600 signatures, about half of them from Elmore County residents.

Let’s look at some demographic figures. According to the U.S. Census, 12 percent of Elmore County residents live below the poverty level, about the same as in the rest of Idaho. With a 2008 population of 29,000, that’s about 3,480 people who do not earn enough to meet basic needs for themselves or their families.

To get a closer look at Hammett and Glenns Ferry, we need to rely on 2000 Census data from zipskinny.com.

  • In the 83627 ZIP of Hammett (population 616), 16.9 percent of the population lived below the poverty line, much higher than the rest of Elmore County. The median household income was $34,000. Interestingly, about 39 people in the Hammett ZIP code reported making more than $200,000 a year. About 35 percent of the Hammett ZIP Code identified as Hispanic.
  • In the 83623 ZIP code of Glenns Ferry (population 1,938), more than 21 percent of the population lived below the poverty line, significantly higher than the rest of Elmore County. The median household income was $29,600, although around 19 people reported making more than $200,000 a year. About 29 percent of Glenns Ferry ZIP code residents identified themselves as Hispanic.

Hammett-area farmers have worked hard to establish their livelihoods so if any of them are in the group of people earning $200,000 a year, they have undeniably worked hard for it. But I don’t think we came across any of that elite group in the towns of Hammett or Glenns Ferry.

These figures suggest a larger-than-average percentage of Glenns Ferry and Hammett-area residents are “economically disenfranchised,” as the sociologists like to say. In plain English: These families live in poverty, are struggling to make ends meet, earn below-average wages and are at risk for losing their homes, food and ability to educate themselves for a better future. Perhaps they don’t often show up at public hearings or comprehensive plan meetings or write letters to the editor, but they are there if you care to ask them what they think and hope for. If the Hammett-area farmers are among the movers and shakers in Elmore County, these people are among the moved and the shaken.

Our on-the-ground organizing work in Hammett and Glenns Ferry discovered what is easy to see to anyone who cares to look: Glenns Ferry and especially Hammett are in economic distress; they need significant investment in infrastructure; too many people live in trailers and homes in serious need of repair. Food lines are well-attended by the old, working families and the young. Glenns Ferry’s original commercial town center is largely vacant. In conversations, we found many people lost their jobs at a food processing plant or were seasonal agricultural workers and were worried about keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table. Because of language differences, we had to inform many people in Spanish. “Tratamos de construir una planta de energia nuclear …”

Many of these people eagerly signed our petition and we truly hope to provide them with year-‘round family-wage jobs, good housing and a more secure life. Our opponents like to say only the lowest-level jobs would go to Elmore residents or, conversely, that Elmore residents wouldn’t qualify for any jobs. Tellingly, the people we sought out didn’t seem to share those concerns.

I’ve supervised thousands of workers in my career and a nuclear plant is very much a meritocracy. I can tell you that any Elmore County resident who passes security checks and makes it through whatever training they need may put their skills to work at our power plant. They – and their children – are as eligible as anyone else to work as landscapers, mechanics, technicians, security officers, office workers, pipefitters, attorneys, materials handlers, managers, electricians or nuclear physicists. Whatever the job, the power industry pays very well, with nuclear plant jobs averaging $80,000 a year. Beyond the plant itself, the abundant, low-cost energy will draw other well-paying businesses.

It seems all too easy for the Snake River Alliance to ignore these issues of economic justice and align themselves with the few landowners who rely on – and may wish to maintain – a pool of cheap labor, whatever the human cost. Their imagery of rural bliss leaves out the desperation and difficult living conditions that thousands of Elmore County residents face.

We believe hardworking people deserve opportunities to do better for their families. Hopefully the Elmore County Commission agrees.

About Elmore County's Comprehensive Plan June 9, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Agriculture, approval process, economic benefits, Elmore County, nuclear industry, rural nuclear, Snake River Alliance, Solar energy, Wind energy.
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(We submitted this opinion to the Mountain Home News today for publication tomorrow.)

The Elmore County Commission said some surprising things Monday. Since they can’t hear any more testimony, it is likely my words won’t make it to them. But it would be helpful, whether or not this project succeeds, to clarify a few things.

The Commissioners correctly pointed out on several occasions the comprehensive plan appears to conflict with itself. That is to be expected in a complex effort like land use planning, but it doesn’t have to be that way. As I will talk about, our rezone proposal actually does conform to the comprehensive plan because our development would provide steady, well-paying jobs; will greatly improve the local tax base; won’t threaten the rural way of life so important to Elmore County residents; and we have addressed concerns about possible future misuse of the land.

The Commission asked their attorney for an opinion as to whether or not they can restrict future uses of the land. The Commissioners are concerned that if they rezone the land for industrial use and the nuclear plant isn’t developed, the landowner could apply to build some undesirable use and the commission would have little ability to stop it.

This is a reasonable concern. However, we addressed it early on in the process. Along with our application, we submitted a development agreement. The agreement makes clear that if we do not build a nuclear power plant on the land, then it must revert to agricultural zoning.

Elected officials are understandably reluctant to deviate from their comprehensive plans. However, they also know there will come times to make reasonable exceptions. We believe this is such a time. The current comprehensive plan, however well-intentioned, did not foresee the possibility of an ambitious and economically significant proposal such as ours, the most expensive single piece of private infrastructure ever proposed for Idaho.

The designated industrial location, Simco Road, has very little water; a 20-mile-long pipe would need to be constructed, presenting insurmountable safety and right-of-way concerns. The site has geologic issues that also make it difficult to site a nuclear plant there. Interestingly, much more intrusive uses, such as industrial wind farms and natural gas plants, may be located anywhere in the county without a heavy industrial designation. This is especially puzzling, as a nuclear plant emits no smoke, noise, dust or odors and takes up very little space.

Another commissioner said the people of Hammett have spoken overwhelmingly against the rezone. While many Hammett-area farmers spoke as individuals (and included their feelings again as members of a group), that is by no means representative of Hammett the town, where many of the workers on these farms actually live.

Of the 1,600 signatures we gathered in favor of the rezone (half from Elmore County), we estimate at least 50 came from in and around Hammett, where our community organizing efforts found people, many of them agricultural workers, desperate for stable, well-paying jobs. These figures suggest national polls about nuclear power, which routinely show 70%-plus support.

One of the commissioners’ least enviable jobs is to balance competing interests, each of them important. Should they (as our opponents say) approve an industry that would destroy the rural way of life? Or should they adopt a clean, stable source of energy and the jobs that go with it? Unfortunately, our opponents have presented this as an either-or choice when, in fact, it is not. In terms of being an industrial use, we will no more impose upon Elmore County’s rural way of life than a cheese plant or an air force base (which we whole heartedly support as a veteran run organization).

If the farmers could demonstrate the plant we propose would harm their way of life, they might have a case for keeping hundreds of their fellow county residents from holding power plant jobs. As it stands, however, nuclear plants are excellent neighbors. Of the 1,300 acres proposed in our rezone, about 200 would be for the actual plant. The remaining land would consist of ponds and farms, as is common in the predominantly rural settings where nuclear plants are located. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, it costs 1.8 cents to produce a kilowatt-hour of electricity with nuclear power, and that power is produced more than 90 percent of the time (http://tinyurl.com/2pgc8k). That’s a significant benefit to farmers

Indeed, Elmore County farms have for decades abutted extremely intensive heavy-industrial uses with no problems. I’m speaking of Mountain Home Air Force Base, Despite the general mistrust of government in our society, the Air Force Base has been a good neighbor and is a pillar of the region’s economy. Safe to say, MHAFB would have a hard time fitting in the Simco Road location.

One commissioner also expressed concern about how construction would affect local services. Any sort of significant project will certainly impose some burdens and we have suggested ways to address them. Ideas include paying money directly to the county to reduce the bill for all taxpayers as compensation for disruption; job training; a community center; scholarships; direct infrastructure funding; and a committee to oversee service needs (for details, see my open letter to the people of Hammett on my blog at www.cleanidahoenergy.wordpress.com). Not to mention, these burdens would pale in comparison to the benefits specified in the next paragraph.

Current farms in Elmore County produce 2.86 jobs (some seasonal) per acre, or about 4 jobs at the current location. Our plant would produce 500-year round jobs at the site and 5,000 peak jobs per year during construction; $558 million in local payroll and labor income; and $205 million in local ripple payroll income. The plant would also create an additional 1,754 full-time support jobs and massive improvements in schools, police, fire and other infrastructure funding.

The irony isn’t lost on me that the commission these days is also holding meetings on how to deal with a pressing budget crisis. Our proposal would start putting people to work immediately and increase the economic security for the all residents of Elmore County.

One of the Commissioners made another important statement. If Elmore County residents – and presumably the Snake River Alliance – wish to see farmland kept undeveloped, they should probably consider forming a land trust or other legal vehicle to accomplish it. To restrict private property rights for that reason is not a wise use of power.

Things are going well for AEHI. Last week, we signed an agreement with Source Capital Group Inc. to raise money for the project. The funds will cover land, water rights and engineering services to obtain Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval to construct and operate an advanced nuclear plant in Elmore County, Idaho, estimated to total some $70 million. Every company that has undertaken the NRC application process has successfully completed it and received a construction/operation license.

We see a bright future for Elmore County, one that many communities in America share. It is a future of economic security and low-cost energy, with a nuclear plant quietly, cleanly and dependably powering its farms, homes and businesses. We hope the Elmore County Commission votes for this future and approves our rezone.

"Commission praised for patience during nuke hearing" April 29, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Agriculture, approval process, economic benefits, Elmore County, Energy policy, Mountain Home News, Politics and nuclear, rural nuclear, Snake River Alliance, Water policy.
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The Mountain Home News was kind enough to publish this letter today. It pretty much speaks for itself.

Commission praised for patience during nuke hearing

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dear editor:

We applaud the patience of the Elmore County Commission in dealing with a very controversial issue at last week’s hearing. Throughout the over four hours of testimony from both sides, the commissioners heard and saw plenty of information.

In our view, the hundreds of supporters who showed up to support jobs, clean low-cost energy, agriculture and economic growth carried the day. Testimony on our behalf was passionate, including former planning and zoning commissioners who supported our application. Farmers, large landowners, the local farm bureau, shopkeepers and average citizens all told the commission that Elmore County needs stable jobs and that rezoning our land would serve the best interests of Elmore County. We have also submitted 1,600 Idaho signatures in support of the rezone, half of them from Elmore County residents.

We know some 500 people showed up at various stages of the four-hour meeting to support us. We handed out 475 green “AEHI supporter” stickers to people and we counted about 400 of those stickers over the course of the evening (people showed up shortly after 4 p.m. to our table and were coming until after 7 p.m.). There were also many supporters who had to stand in the back and behind the boundary wall who requested stickers, but we had run out. By contrast, we counted fewer than 100 people wearing stickers opposing us throughout the entire evening. Also, fewer than 10 percent of the AEHI supporters spoke. In contrast, over a third of the opposition spoke, but many were from the same organization. Their organizations were given 10 minutes of speaking time, and then in violation of the rules individual members of the organization also spoke giving the misleading appearance of an equal number for and against.

We expect people to oppose us, but the opposition sometimes resorted to strange arguments. I’m sure some of you have been in the position where you tell someone something, they give you a blank stare and act as though they didn’t hear a word you just said. That’s how we often felt at last week’s public hearing on our rezone.

Opponents largely ignored information presented by AEHI staff and our supporters. We showed pictures of nuclear plants with farm fields and grazing cows just a stone’s throw from reactor buildings, to prove that nuclear plants are very compatible with surrounding ag land uses. We repeated that our plant would occupy just 200 of the 1,300 acres in the rezone, with most of the rest of the land devoted to farming. We made it clear our site won’t have any of those large cooling towers. We stated we’ve already spent $8 million and put 100 Idahoans to work on our effort. We made it clear that many acres of good land could be farmed but aren’t due to the high cost of water. We specified nuclear plants emit no smoke, dust, noise or odors and do not generate large amounts of traffic in operation. We made it clear we’d use a low-water design for our plant and rely on existing water rights, not impinging on existing water holders in any way. We made it clear jobs would start soon after the rezone and Conditional Use Permit approval and ramp up to several thousand during the construction phase.

We also clarified that most jobs at our plant won’t require a college degree, just specialized training that we can provide.

In response, people made some amazing claims, suggesting we could put a dump or tire-burning plant on the site. Another gentleman worried about terrorists using advanced radar weaponry to induce earthquakes to destroy reactors and cities. They insisted our plant would destroy their rural setting, even when the reality of nuclear plants shows they are good neighbors and take up little room. Some kept referring to the land as “their farmland” and that they wanted to farm it, so it should be kept as-is for their benefit (whatever happened to private property rights? And why has the land been sold several times as recently as 2007, but no one from Elmore County purchased it?). They also said farmland is disappearing; having grown up on a farm myself, this is a strong appeal to make. However, according to the USDA’s 2007 Census of Agriculture, “nearly 300,000 new farms have begun operation since the last census in 2002.” Elmore County farm statistics, obtained from the county extension office, show farms in the county also increased between 2002 and 2007, from 364 to 381. While Idaho agriculture is robust, we know farmland figures could increase substantially if our power plant is built, as many acres cannot be irrigated due to lack of low-cost power for irrigation pumps.

Most surprisingly, several opponents said the jobs won’t materialize because the plant won’t be built — then proceeded to argue against the rezone so the plant could not be built!

The Snake River Alliance is a master of these both-sides-of-the-fence arguments. On one hand, the SRA says our reactor can’t be built for a mountain of reasons — but if they really believe that, why are they spending their time opposing us? Their preoccupation with our project is unintended but welcome testimony that we are fully capable of building this plant and have an excellent shot at success, even given the current financial markets.

For someone to build a commercial nuclear plant in Idaho on their watch would pretty much verify the SRA has lost relevance and is out of touch with modern environmental thinking, even more so than the successful Areva and Idaho National Laboratory expansions demonstrate.

So, this really is about jobs: theirs (about 10) versus ours (about 5,000, with salaries much higher). It’s also stunning the Snake River Alliance would say it’s concerned about jobs and agriculture in Elmore County, when it has advocated the closure of Mountain Home Air Force Base and supported restricting water supplies to farmers to protect the Bruneau Snail. I am frankly surprised at their alliance with the Hammett-area farmers. I guess the saying “My enemy’s enemy is my friend” holds, even uniting former enemies who haven’t considered the consequences. What will these farmers do when the newly empowered SRA resumes advocacy of cutting their water rights to protect a snail or return farmland to its original “pristine condition”?

Despite all the misinformation, the people who made the loudest statement last week were our hundreds of supporters. Sadly, the SRA and opposition websites (which don’t allow comment) discount and mock the people who are eager and willing to get to work building and running a reactor.

Our opponents concern themselves with obstructing and stopping, not building and creating. No matter how this is resolved, we have made a very clear statement that Elmore County’s (and Idaho’s) baseload energy supply and economic development are pressing issues – and neither the Snake River Alliance nor their supporters have any plan to address them.

For more information on the rezone and our intentions, please go to www.alternateenergholdings.com or www.cleanidahoenergy.wordpress.com.

Don Gillispie

President and CEO of Alternate Energy Holdings Inc.

Thanks to the hundreds who came to support jobs, agriculture and clean energy last night April 24, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Agriculture, approval process, economic benefits, Elmore County, Greenfield nuclear development, rural nuclear, Uncategorized.
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To the hundreds of people who came out to support us at the Elmore County Commission hearing, thank you all so much. The commissioners have a difficult task but you helped them understand that our proposed rezone will allow Idaho to have a dependable jobs and power for farms, industry, homes and commerce. Below is a news release we have distributed about it.

Elmore County Commission to decide on nuclear plant rezone
Hundreds turn out to support proposal to rezone 1,300 acres for nuclear plant that would create thousands of jobs

April 23, 2009
For more information, contact:
Jennie Ransom, AEHI spokeswoman 208-939-9311
Martin Johncox, 208-658-9100

Hundreds of people packed a hearing room Wednesday night to show their support of a proposal to rezone 1,300 acres of land for a power plant. The Elmore County Commission will discuss and decide the rezone at a future hearing, which hasn’t yet been announced.

The commission heard four hours of testimony from than 36 supporters and 32 opponents of the rezone. Alternate Energy Holdings Inc., which is proposing to build a nuclear plant at the site, submitted an additional 240 signatures in support of the rezone Wednesday night, bringing total signatures in support to 1,600, about half of them from Elmore County.

The meeting was held at the Mountain Home Junior High School and more than 400 people showed up to an AEHI-sponsored table on the sidewalk by the school to submit resumes and letters of interest about jobs; most of these people also went to the county commission hearing to emphasize the need for economic development. AEHI is committed to hiring locally and wanted to collect worker information now due to the need to phase in workers over a number of years. Company officials have said the high number of former and current military personnel in Elmore County make it an ideal place for finding prospective employees, who must have clean backgrounds.

Supporters said the rezone is a private property and jobs issue, while opponents said the landowner shouldn’t be entitled to rezone his land. Opponents, including several farmers who live next to the property, repeatedly referred to the property as “our farm land” said they would like to farm it themselves (although they did not buy it when it was for sale recently), which couldn’t happen if it were rezoned. Gillispie pointed out the nuclear plant would have a footprint of only 200 acres, leaving most of the remaining 1,100 acres for farming.

The company’s 2007 economic study, based on other American nuclear plants, calculated AEHI’s proposed plant would grow employment in Elmore and Owyhee counties by 25 percent and generate 4,230 jobs statewide during construction, including a total annual payroll impact of $839 million. It would also generate 1,004 annual jobs statewide during operation during its 60-year lifespan, with an annual statewide payroll impact of $57 million. Average annual wages would be $80,000 for plant employees and $33,536 in industries indirectly affected. Total annual labor income impacts in Owyhee and Elmore counties during operation would be $52.3 million. Opponents also said the company’s claims about job creation were part of a “marketing plan” but did not provide any evidence to refute the company’s job analysis. Some opponents discounted the depth of the economic crisis facing the nation and state and the need for additional non-agricultural jobs in Elmore County.

Supporters noted the nuclear plant would emit no odor, smoke, dust or noise. Gillisipie’s PowerPoint showed photos of nuclear plants with cows and farm fields next to them, but opponents avoided mention of these photos. Supporter also noted the Boise area has had to turn away major employers because of lack of energy, arguing that rezoning the land would be in the county’s interest.

The Idaho Energy Complex (www.idahoenergycomplex.com) will be a large advanced nuclear reactor with low cooling water requirements located about 65 miles southeast of Boise, in Elmore County. Company officials plan to submit a Combined Operating License Application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2010. The approval process is expected to take three years and cost $80 million. Construction could begin as soon as late 2012 and finish with power generation beginning in late 2016.

Information: http://www.energyforelmore.com and http://www.cleanidahoenergy.wordpress.com