Salt Lake City’s 1 MW solar farm.
Solar panels on the Public Safety Building
On Monday, the Governor’s Office of Energy Development issued news that a significant agreement had been reached between parties previously at odds over how to move forward with rooftop solar development in Utah.
The main point of contention was how to compensate rooftop solar owners for the excess electricity they sell back to the utility. In November 2016, Rocky Mountain Power proposed a change in their rate structure that could make it more difficult for homeowners to afford solar panels.
Because Salt Lake City is committed to advancing clean energy and supports the growth in rooftop solar, we opposed the proposed changes to the rate structure. In other states, notably Nevada, where similar changes have taken effect, the solar industry has imploded.
At about the same time, the Governor’s Office of Energy Development stepped in, outside of the formal Public Service Commission process, to try and broker an agreement on this thorny issue. Read more
by Terra Pace
In Salt Lake City, we’re proud to offer curbside compost collection for residents. That means those brown bins can take more than just leaves and twigs– they can take your fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds.
However, food waste is still a big problem. In the U.S. nearly 40% of the nation’s food supply is thrown out, and according to the EPA, 20% of what goes to municipal landfills is food waste.
While compost operations can handle raw fruit and vegetable scraps, a missing piece of the food waste puzzle– particularly for large operations– is what to do with prepared products. This includes cooked foods, packaged foods, meat, cheese, and leftovers from someone’s dinner plate.
Enter Wasatch Resource Recovery.
Slated for operation in fall of 2018, the company will open an “anaerobic digester” that will be able to turn organic waste– including fats, oils, and grease– into sustainable resources –– biogas and bio-based fertilizer. This project, which will help to greatly reduce the amount of food going to our landfill, will also generate energy.
by Brooke Taylor
As our readers know, one of SLCgreen’s core goals is to help you adopt tips and practices to make your life more sustainable. Whether that’s reducing your contribution to air pollution, learning how to eat more local food, or understanding what to recycle, all of us have a role to play in making Salt Lake City a more sustainable place to live.
That goes for our own operations as well. One of the major areas of focus for SLCgreen (as the City’s Sustainability Department is known) is helping SLC Corporation adopt best practices when it comes to those same sustainability measures we ask of our community.
That’s why we’re delighted to share with you some elements of our new internal Sustainability Policy, signed in January 2017 by Mayor Biskupski.
This policy affects Salt Lake City’s approximately 3,000 government employees, the community as a whole, our vendors, and the supply chains emanating from those vendors. By vowing to practice the best sustainable methods in all operations from prohibiting Styrofoam cups in break rooms, to carefully tracking our buildings’ energy usage, SLC is setting a community standard—a green standard.
We’d like to note that many of the guidelines in the Sustainability Policy were already in effect through various executive orders and policies, but this is the first time the best practices have been consolidated and turned into a comprehensive document.
If you’d like to read the whole policy, you can find it here.
Otherwise, read on for highlights . . . Read more
by Maggie McCormick
The 12-month program promoting sustainability education and action for city employees, Empower SLC, has come to an end. After 12 themes and nearly 50 weekly topics, we hope the lessons learned will help SLC Corp employees adopt more sustainable practices into their everyday lives.
Empower SLC, which began in April 2016, was designed as a training platform by Sustain3 and implemented by the Sustainability Department for Salt Lake City’s nearly 3,000 employees. Our goal was to encourage sustainable practices amongst city staff. Each month, employees participated in monthly themes, such as waste reduction, energy conservation, water conservation, and clean air transportation, and completed weekly lessons and activities.
Last night, Mayor Biskupski presented her proposed 2018 fiscal year budget to the City Council.**
In the proposed budget, the Mayor continues to press for cleaner air and other practical approaches to addressing climate change.
Last summer, the Mayor and City Council adopted a historic resolution to completely transition Salt Lake City’s community electricity needs to renewables by 2032 and to reduce carbon output by 80 percent by 2040.
The Mayor wants to keep the momentum going toward greater sustainability citywide.
First up: Initial steps will be taken in partnering with Rocky Mountain Power in establishing a large solar farm for cleaner City energy. This goal is part of a robust Clean Energy Cooperation Statement the City inked with RMP last year that requires cooperation in evaluating and implementing multiple projects to help the City achieve its clean energy targets. Read more
Salt Lake City Publishes Plan to Tackle Climate Change and Carbon Pollution
Climate Positive plan prioritizes regional collaboration, community participation, and innovation to reduce pollution and enhance local resilience to warming temperatures.
Salt Lake City has released a comprehensive plan entitled Climate Positive 2040, detailing ways the Capitol City will sustain its leadership role in addressing climate change.
Google’s Project Sunroof shows Salt Lake City’s massive solar potential. Click the image to navigate to the Sunroof site to explore the city’s energy potential.
Did you know that more solar energy reaches Earth in just five days than all of the fossil fuel reserves combined? Harnessing that solar energy is a critical part of switching to renewable energy and creating a more sustainable community, especially for sunny Utah.
And while the $2,000 state solar tax credit is set to phase out by 2021, there’s still enormous room for growth.