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AEHI CEO Don Gillispie To The Federal Government: Please Correct Approval Process And Loan Guarantees For Nuclear Plants In 2011 December 14, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, approval process, nuclear industry.
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BOISE, Idaho, December 13, 2010 – “Nuclear power holds enormous promise for meeting America’s need for clean, reliable, low-cost electricity, but the promise will only be realized if the U.S. government addresses its energy policy,” says Don Gillispie, CEO of Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc (OTCQB:AEHI; http://www.aehipower.com), a Eagle, ID-based company that plans to build new nuclear power plants and markets nuclear desalination systems. “We need a real energy plan,” he says.

“The right energy policy would streamline the approval process for new nuclear plants and greatly expand the U.S. government’s program to guarantee loans to stimulate domestic financing of those plants,” Gillispie argues. “It wouldn’t even cost taxpayers any money. With loan guarantees, the federal government is only required to pay if nuclear plant developers default on their loans and the chances of that are slim considering the money these plants can generate. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was created to encourage clean energy developers with loan guarantees, among other things, but now we are greatly limiting them for nuclear power and even charging prohibitive upfront fees to qualify — hardly an incentive.”

According to Gillispie policy changes are urgently needed. The numbers tell a stark and worrisome story. The U.S. has 104 nuclear reactors, which make 20% of the nation’s electricity. Within about 25 years many of those plants will have reached the end of their lives, and will have to be replaced. Meanwhile, approximately 600 coal plants would cost too much to upgrade to meet new pollution rules, so they will be taken out of service; some are already in the process. In order to continue meeting the nation’s current baseload electricity demand, the country will need 300 or more new nuclear plants within 30 years or so. “We’d have to be on a path of 10-15 new nuclear plants a year when you include load growth starting now,” Gillispie says.

However, the country hasn’t even taken a small step on that path. While U.S. companies proposed building about 30 new nuclear plants over the next 10 years or so, most of the proposals are currently stalled. Plants that are on track to be built include two units at the existing Vogtle site in Georgia owned by Southern Company and two units AEHI plans to build in Payette County, Idaho.  The AEHI plant will fall behind Vogtle due to the lengthy approval process involved with building on a previously undeveloped site, also known as a greenfield site. Even if the stalled proposals get moving, they won’t be nearly enough. “AEHI is planning for the potential to install an additional four units in the future while everyone else is talking about one or two,” says Gillispie. “At this rate, we’ll never be able to meet the country’s need for baseload electricity.”

What would greatly help speed up the development of nuclear plants? Probably, the most important step would be for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to approve designs and new sites more expeditiously, Gillispie says. “NRC officials are telling people it takes 54 months to approve an existing, but enhanced U.S. design that’s already shown to be reliable and safe and potentially even longer to approve a new greenfield nuclear site. Any industrial development, including mining and heavy manufacturing, are nearly impossible to get approved today. It is apparent our children will live at a lower standard if we do not wake-up and give business leaders some say in this country’s future, instead of catering to those who oppose everything in the name of the environment to a fault.

Life has risk, but there are even greater risks without proven technologies being used effectively.  Western nuclear power has been proven safer than all other energy sources to date, yet getting plants built remains far too time consuming.” Nuclear plant approval delays mean that potential investors are instead putting their money in alternatives like wind, which can be approved and built in as little as a year—but can only supply a fraction of the country’s demand for power with high cost, poor reliability and large federal subsidies, not to mention it cannot provide needed baseload power to our electric grid.

That’s why Gillispie is encouraging his representatives in Congress to push the NRC to move faster or to pass legislation to streamline the approval process.

The second step would be to provide more loan guarantees for nuclear plants without excessive fees. Such guarantees enable companies to line up financing for new plants at an affordable cost. “There’s almost no risk to the government,” says Gillispie, “because nuclear plant developers will not default on those loans.”

The NRC must move expeditiously in order to fulfill the requests for more nuclear power now seen at a local level.  AEHI’s own experience shows public opinion for nuclear is at an all-time high. At a key December 2nd county planning and zoning meeting, an overwhelming majority of the participants were in favor of zoning changes to permit the construction of AEHI’s proposed plant.  On December 9th, those same county officials approved a recommendation to rezone 500 acres in rural Idaho, which has been designated as the future site for AEHI’s proposed nuclear power plant.  “If the government will help us move faster, the nuclear industry will be able to deliver the critical power that America needs,” says Gillispie.
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.
Safe Harbor Statement: 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.

AEHI CEO Says Global Water Crisis Will Cause Growth in Market for Nuclear Desalination Plants October 18, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, desalination, Green World Water, nuclear industry.
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BOISE, Idaho, Oct 18, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) — If you thought the world’s biggest woes will come from financial crises or potential shortages of oil and energy, think again. The looming crisis is a scarcity of water. The World Water Forum predicts that within 20 years, half the world’s population will be affected by water shortages, “with millions dying and increasing conflicts over dwindling resources.” http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/water-scarcity-now-bigger-threat-than-financial-crisis-1645358.html

In fact, says a recent United Nations report, shortages are already beginning to slow economic growth everywhere from California and China to Australia and India.

“If the 20th century witnessed the rise and fall of nations over oil, the 21st century could be one in which the rise and fall of nations is determined by water,” wrote Yoichi Funabashi, editor-in-chief of the Asahi Shimbun, recently. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE69A3CE20101011?pageNumber=1

But the coming crisis is also bringing opportunities for companies, says Don Gillispie, CEO of Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc (otcqb:AEHI), a Boise-based company whose Green World Water(TM) subsidiary markets nuclear powered desalination systems produced by China National Nuclear Corporation based on an original Westinghouse design. “The innovation and ingenuity of the private sector can solve this looming global problem – and make money for investors,” he says.

UBS’s latest “Research Focus”, (September 2010) (http://www.ubs.com/1/e/index.html), predicts that the private industry water sector will, “grow faster than overall markets in the coming years. In particular, providers of water infrastructure, technology, and services that offer sustainable solutions to efficient water use are likely to experience solid growth.”

One bold project already underway involves scooping up 3 million gallons of water a year from a pristine lake in Alaska and shipping it to India. (http://www.newsweek.com/2010/10/08/the-race-to-buy-up-the-world-s-water.html)

Alternate Energy Holdings’ own analysis, however, shows that it’s easier and more cost-effective to produce pure water closer to where it is needed. And the best way to do that is to build nuclear-powered desalination plants, argues Gillispie. Gillispie is a 45-year veteran of the nuclear industry, and his company, AEHI, is already planning new electricity-generating nuclear power plants in Idaho and Colorado in the U.S. “A nuclear plant is basically a giant source of heat, so the heat can be used not only to make electricity but also to turn any source of water into steam than can be condensed into pure water,” Gillispie explains.

Gillispie and his Green World Water(TM) subsidiary (http://www.GreenWorld-H2O.com/) has at least initial interest from representatives of over 30 countries around the world. The company also opened an office in Nigeria in early October to market the systems to nations in West Africa.

Using 650 or 1100 Megawatt (MWe) nuclear desalinization reactors and water from the ocean, a single plant could produce 400,000 cubic meter of clean water a day, enough to meet the needs of 1,000,000 people. And since the plants also make electricity, they help countries meet their power needs. “Revenues from selling electricity would actually pay for the production of water,” explains Gillispie.

About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (http://www.aehipower.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.

The Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=8058

Safe Harbor Statement: 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.

Obama promises to boost nuclear power January 29, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in balanced approach, Barack Obama, economic benefits, Energy policy, Politics and nuclear, President Obama.
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President Obama appears to be warming to nuclear power in a big way. In his state of the union speech this week, he said “to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.”

Obama stated his support for nuclear power while campaigning, and several times since then. Today, however, his administration said it will press for $54 billion in new loan guarantees for new plants. Loan guarantees have proven the least costly form of energy assistance – so far, the government hasn’t had to pay any for nuclear plants – and give private investors some assurance. That’s needed in the face of excessive and unreasonable opposition to nuclear power, which drives up costs.

Last week, Obama issued an executive order to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2020. The only way to do that and keep our economy healthy is with an all-of-the-above approach embracing conservation, renewables, clean fossil and nuclear.

Obama appears to be backing up his words with specific financial proposals and that is most welcome. Another $54 billion would greatly assist utilities and private investors companies, such as ours, move forward on our plans to keep clean, reliable, secure nuclear energy a vital part of America’s infrastructure.

How AEHI can afford to build a nuclear power plant January 21, 2010

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, economic benefits, Investment news, nuclear industry, nuclear jobs, Payette County.
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Lately we’ve had a lot of questions about how AEHI plans to fund a nuclear power plant.  There have been a lot of rumors floating around about the process, so we’d like to use the following opinion piece to clear up any misconceptions. Dan Hamilton, AEHI director of public relations, wrote the following opinion.

As a child, and not unlike other kids, I was often relentless in questioning my parents menial issues, “Why do I need to eat all my food, why can’t I stay up, and why can’t I spend the night on the roof?”

Most parents know what I’m talking about.

Meaningful answers were often provided, but later the answer to all these questions became, “Because I said so.” An irritating response, but now it’s one I use on my own children, because thinking of a real answer takes time to formulate in a way they’ll understand.

I thought a lot about that lately, and as a representative of Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc., I think responses to , “How can your company afford to build a nuclear power plant”, have begun sounding like a tired parent saying, “Because I said so.”

The real answer is much more complicated.

Depending on the reactor, the finished project, likely on a 5,000 acre piece of property outside Payette, will cost between $5 billion and $8 billion.

This is an investor-driven operation, at least in the beginning, and paying for it will require a couple different methods, or phases. These are the reasons investors continue supporting AEHI, because they’ve learned there is no downside to investing in a nuclear power plant.
Phase one will require about $100 million to pay for land, water, engineers, lawyers and applications. Last summer AEHI announced an agreement with an investment group to fund $70 million worth of the project and now we have several large international investors also interested.

Phase two takes place after AEHI receives local and federal approval; once approved, the property will increase in value to about $1.5 billion. The land then becomes an asset used to borrow $5 billion to $8 billion for construction. No loan payments are expected until the plant is operational, and once running at full capacity, it will create about $3 billion annually in reliable profits for 60 years.

These projections create a very attractive loan for most lenders.
Making this even more attractive, and much less risky, is a federal loan guarantee, which insures loan repayment up to 80 percent its original value. You can read more about this program on the Nuclear Energy Institute’s website: http://tinyurl.com/financingnuclearpower. This is also a program many senators are trying to expand.

In short, after phase one, AEHI will have a $1.5 billion asset and a nearly $10 billion asset after phase two — in either case, a very profitable proposition.

It’s also profitable for state and local economies. Following local approval, Phase one will create hundreds of jobs and contribute millions. After federal approval, Phase two will create billions of dollars in gross domestic product every year and thousands of jobs through construction and operation. Then there are local businesses needed to support the people working at the plant.

When finished, about 500 people will be needed to operate the plant, with pay averaging about $80,000 a year.

Coming from someone who studied these issues in great detail as a reporter, who quickly became a proponent, and now as an employee of AEHI, I have learned this project can be accomplished and has the potential to become hugely successful.

I hope you will take the time to study the matter for yourself. You will likely come to the same conclusion. This plant is crucial to providing Idaho with the revenue, the jobs, and the essential base load power the state needs for years to come.

Idaho’s first Energy Neutral home, now under construction, will produce more energy than it demands November 11, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Electric cars, electric vehicles, Energy Neutral, housing, renewable energy, Solar energy, Transportation.
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Eagle company developing new home that will incorporate solar, computer technology to be an energy producer; company eyes markets in business and agriculture

Nov. 11, 2009

For more information,
Micah Gosney 208-939-3495
Don Gillispie 208-939-9311

www.aehipower.com
www.energyneutralinc.com

www.facebook.com/AEHIPower
www.twitter.com/energyneutral

An Eagle company is constructing its first “Energy Neutral” home, designed from the ground-up to produce more energy than it consumes.

“This first home will establish that an efficiently built home equipped with renewable technologies will achieve energy neutrality” said Micah Gosney, Executive Director of Energy Neutral.

The idea of using renewable energy to augment residential power has been around for years. However, Energy Neutral is using established methods of energy production – such as solar panels – and combining them with energy-saving construction practices to provide an affordable home that achieves energy neutrality. The home may draw energy from the grid as needed, such as during evening hours, but send energy back into the grid on sunny days. In all, the home is expected to be a net producer of electricity and carry a zero energy bill over its life.

Energy Neutral is a holding of Eagle-based Alternate Energy Holdings Inc., which is seeking to build a nuclear plant in Idaho and other states and is working with Chinese companies on related energy ventures. AEHI CEO Don Gillispie said he has had the idea for several years to make an energy neutral home and is funding its construction with a personal loan to the company.

“Renewables produce energy considerably less than half the time, so integrating them with a reliable source baseload power gives the best of both worlds,” said Gillispie. “This is another way to help the state and country by lowering grid demand and consumers’ power bills not to mention reducing emissions.”

“This house, costing the same as a conventional heated and cooled building, will save its owner over $200,000 in energy bills over a fifty year life at today’s costs,” Gillispie said. “When you consider the escalating cost of energy, the savings could approach $1,000,000 over the same time period effectively allowing the homeowner to buy the house including interest with his energy savings.”

Biltmore Company of Meridian was chosen to construct the home and construction started on November 3, 2009 and will be completed in the spring of 2010. The home’s address is 12963 W. Scotfield Court in Boise in the Monet Meadows subdivision, located in west Boise, near Centennial High School.

The 2,900 square-foot Craftsman/bungalow style home costs about as much as a typical home to build (around $100 a square foot), due to government and utility incentives. It will include:

  • Photovoltaic panels sufficient to supply energy requirements to more than cover everyday consumption
  • 2 X 6 wall construction using advanced framing techniques for energy efficiency and material conservation
  • High efficiency insulation upgrades including foam insulation and blow-in blanket
  • Radiant Low E roof barrier to reduce heat transfer
  • Power save energy conservation controls
  • Solar attic fans for heat expulsion during hot summer days
  • Low E and U factor windows to conserve heat transfer
  • Key placement of sun tubes for day time illumination
  • Room occupancy sensors can tell if someone is in the room and shut off the lights if they aren’t
  • Compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs
  • High-efficiency heat pump with zoned air conditioning system
  • Integrated Green Materials.
  • A computerized system that monitors energy use in the house and looks for waste and potential savings.

The home will feature standard amenities such as a full basement; five bedrooms; home office; three bathrooms; covered front and rear patio; three car garage; large master suite with sitting area and spacious master bathroom; large kitchen with solid surface counter tops and large dining area; 10’ ceilings in living area; 14’ ceiling in office; 9’ ceilings for all other area; hardwood floors; expansive windows and 8’ entry and interior doors; fully landscaped front and rear yard with sod, trees, planter bed with bushes and underground sprinklers; and finished and painted garage.

The home will participate in Idaho Power’s net metering program, drawing and supplying energy to and from the grid.  Energy Neutral Inc. seeks to assist homeowners and businesses to reduce their dependence on traditional power by implementing alternative renewable power sources.

Energy forecasters predict more and more people will charge their hybrid vehicles at home, making further demands on the energy grid. Gillispie said energy neutral homes will be able to soak up some of that demand, allowing people to power their cars, in part, with free energy from their homes.

Energy Neutral is able to add more energy production features in future houses, such as photovoltaic panels that resemble shingles and small wind turbines for windy areas. While Energy Neutral is showcasing its abilities with the model home, it can also apply these technologies to farms and businesses and is hoping to break into those markets as well. Gillispie said he hopes to eventually develop an Energy Neutral subdivision in Idaho and the model home is the first step.

“We think this will become more common over time in all kinds of development, especially if someone builds an example to show that energy neutrality is attainable, affordable and can be done with traditional construction methods. It is a green house that saves your green backs.” Gillispie said.

Obama supports "all of the above" approach to energy generation October 16, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in balanced approach, Barack Obama, coal power, President Obama, Steven Chu.
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It was very refreshing to hear President Obama restate his support for nuclear energy yesterday. At a townhall meeting in Louisiana, Obama states support for all clean energy sources – a view held by mainstream America – and singled out nuclear power. His remarks, beginning 5:45, were

“We need to increase domestic energy production. Theres no reason why technologically, we can’t employ nuclear energy in a safe and effective way. Japan does it and France does it, and it doesn’t have greenhouse gas emissions. It would be stupid for us not to do that in a much more effective way.”

Obama’s energy secretary, Steven Chu, has also strongly supported nuclear’s role in our national energy policy, as he realizes nuclear alone can provide low-cost, emissions-free, baseload energy.

With around 65 new nuclear reactors under construction worldwide, the U.S. needs to follow up these words with commitment, or risk being left out of the global economy, falling further behind in reliable power generation, industrial capacity and carbon reduction.The words supporting an all-of-the-above stance are nice, Mr. President, but now back them up with policy.

Promising signs from Korea September 23, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Colorado, Energy policy, Korean reactors, nuclear industry, reactor types.
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I am currently travelling in Colorado but I wanted to update followers on some initiatives we have going. Alternate Energy Holdings Inc. is nearing a deal to bring the first Korean advanced reactor to the US for the Idaho nuclear project. This is an excellent design based on Combustion Engineering and Westinghouse designs first developed in the US. Also, the Koreans are some of best reactor operators in the world. This reactor will allow AEHI to produce the lowest cost power of any proposed US power plant including combined cycle gas, wind, solar, geothermal and clean coal. It will also stimulate investment money from Korea into our Idaho nuclear project.  The MOU will be publicly announced in the near future.

Expanding opportunities August 6, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, Elmore County, Energy policy, nuclear industry, Politics and nuclear.
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Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a complacent person. While our application in Elmore County remains in play as much as ever, it has been a year and we have no clear commitment from the county. Our duty to our stockholders, to our principles and to the people of Idaho requires us to move forward with consideration of other sites.

NEWS RELEASE

For 9:15 am

August 6, 2009

AEHI’s Idaho Nuclear Plant Offered Multiple Sites

Boise, Idaho, August 6, 2009 – Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (OTC: AEHI.PK): AEHI is pleased  to announce several Idaho counties and the state have recently offered lands for AEHI’s nuclear plant following delays in local approval at the current site in Elmore County.

AEHI CEO and president Don Gillispie said, “It is certainly exciting to have so many in Idaho recognize the tremendous benefits of a next generation, environmentally friendly nuclear plant including high paying jobs, great tax revenue; and abundant, low cost, clean power in a region that is critically short on base load energy options. Elmore County’s delay has created a friendly competition for our plant. We are now looking at two additional sites outside of the current county that may actually receive local approval before the existing site.”

AEHI’s site engineering contractor is completing their assessments so we can move forward in a timely manner on these new nuclear plant locations.

Also, the company has also been in contact with several non-nuclear utilities who are considering nuclear plants instead of continuing to invest in the rising cost of carbon plants going forward and need nuclear experienced partners.

“This is likely to be an increasing trend as primarily fossil based utilities realize nuclear is the only viable option for clean base load power today. While nuclear prices are affordable and stable, fossil-fuel prices continue to rise dramatically and fewer carbon base load plants negatively impacts reliability for their customers,” says Gillispie.

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

Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources.  Current projects include the Idaho Energy Complex (an advanced nuclear plant and bio-fuel generation facility), Energy Neutral which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (www.energyneutralinc.com), Colorado Energy Park (nuclear and solar generating plants) and International Reactors, Inc., which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation, production of potable water and other suitable applications.

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

"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.

Rhetorical meltdown February 21, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in AEHI, anti-renewable energy, approval process, Elmore County, Energy policy, environmentalists, Idaho leadership, Mountain Home News, nuclear industry, Politics and nuclear, President Obama, Snake River Alliance, Steven Chu.
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It’s been a rough few months for the Snake River Alliance, and it shows in the shrill and over-the-top rhetoric of their news releases. I suppose it’s for the best they don’t blog and have removed from their Web site the ability for public comment.

Among the setbacks to the SRA: a pro-nuclear president and energy secretary are now in office; the SRA had to admit they were clueless when they stooped to calling us criminals; the state of Idaho has reshuffled its renewable energy priorities to better conform to reality; AREVA is moving forward with a uranium processing facility in Idaho; and the SRA has bailed on at least one public hearing to support embattled wind farm developers.

Apparently, the SRA is engaging in some fundraising by continuing its attempts to vilify us. Their latest news release, regarding our status as a fully reporting company before the SEC, is laughable to anyone with an understanding of business.

To clear up the SRA’s untruths:

• We were “four months late” filing our registration statements (on Feb. 19, we reported the SEC has accepted our registration statement, qualifying us to be a fully reporting company, conduct audits and file required financial reports for current and potential investors). This is nonsense. You can’t be late on a registration statement because there is no requirement to be fully reporting. It is a choice that public companies make to be more open.

• We didn’t disclose any lawsuits in filing our registration statement (at the time, we had a pending lawsuit against the SRA for defamation). You are only required to disclose lawsuits against your company, not lawsuits you have filed against others. Anyone who has been through this process knows that.

I failed to appear at the Legislature when invited. Very wrong. I have been invited twice to appear before an interim committee on energy (not the Legislature) and appeared both times. I testified once and the second time, the meeting ran an hour over and I had to leave to another meeting; I later emailed my remarks to the committee. The SRA knows this but conveniently forgets to mention it.

We “lost” the defamation lawsuit. After Andrea Shipley admitted she had no factual basis for calling us “scammers,” we did not object to their motion to dismiss the suit. Shipley’s critiques “generally represent the highly subjective opinions of the [speaker] rather than assertions of verifiable, objective fact,” according to the SRA court filing. Her admission that she had no factual basis for her statements is a retraction and that pleases us.

• We were late in paying a $50,000 bill to Owyhee County. We had originally proposed to build our plant in Owyhee County and the filing fee was $1,000 and we offered to pay $50,000 because of the exceptional nature of our application. We asked Owyhee County for a written bill, which we need for accountability purposes. The Mountain Home News on Oct. 8 quoted Commissioner Dick Freund: “Once notified in writing, they paid up almost immediately.”

We invite the SRA to be as open as we are and post a link to their financial statements – heck, maybe even start blogging, allow public comment and join the rest of us. The SRA’s distortions of facts and fulminations don’t substitute for a discussion of Idaho’s or America’s energy future.