About Fall River
Fall River is an electric cooperative, owned by those we serve and governed by a nine-member board of directors. Fall River provides safe and renewable power to you – the Cooperative’s members – at the lowest cost possible. Fall River is committed to a heightened level of member service through our membership in Touchstone Energy. We measure our service to you by the benchmarks, or “touchstones”, of our core values: integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.
For more information about the services provided by Fall River, please see your member handbook.
The Cooperative serves nearly 17,000 member connections throughout rural areas in southeast Idaho, western Wyoming, and southwest Montana.
If you receive energy from Fall River, you are not a customer, you are a member-owner of the Cooperative. Along with other Fall River members, you own:
- Three hydroelectric facilities in the Henry’s Fork River watershed and infrastructure at those facilities to enhance our area's fisheries.
- 222 miles of transmission line
- 2,150 miles of distribution lines
- 28 substations
What is the Cooperative Difference?
Four out of every ten Americans depend on cooperatives for a variety of goods and services, including utility, agricultural and food services. Nearly 1,000 electric cooperatives provide power to an estimated 42 million people in 47 states.
Electric cooperatives are different from investor-owned utilities; Cooperatives are:
- Organized and owned by their members and with the sole aim to serve these members.
- Democratically controlled by members through annual board elections.
- Provide power at-cost to members on a non-profit basis.
- Allocate any margins back to members as patronage capital.
- Serve an average of seven members per mile, while investor-owned utilities serve an average of 35 customers per mile.
Your Power Mix
Just over 20 percent of the power used by members is generated by three hydroelectric facilities owned by the Cooperative: Island Park Hydro, Buffalo River Hydro, and Chester Hydro.
Island Park Hydro and Buffalo Hydro were the first two hydroelectric projects in the state that were certified as low impact by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute. These two projects provide renewable power for Fall Rivers Green Power program.
The Chester Hydroelectric Project is scheduled for final completion in the fall of 2012. Chester Hydro is built on an existing irrigation dam and will not change flows through the dam. As part of the project, Fall River installed two fish screens on irrigation canals to help keep fish in the Henry’s Fork. These are the first two fish screens on any of the 11 irrigation canals which are supplied by the Henry’s Fork.
A new fish ladder on the dam now allows fish in the lower river to move up past the dam for the first time since the dam was built in 1939. Conservation organizations, including the Henry’s Fork Foundation, Trout Unlimited, and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition secured funding for the ladder, which cost nearly $500,000.
Although the finishing touches to the Chester Hydro project are now awaiting lower river flows in the fall of 2012, Chester Hydro IS PRODUCING POWER, enough clean, renewable electricity to power over 1,200 homes.
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) supplies the remaining power used by members. BPA is a quasi-federal agency that sells the power from federal hydroelectric dams and other generating plants in the Northwest. Roughly 80 percent of Bonneville’s power is from hydroelectric projects.