September 14, 2017: Mayor Biskupski announces the completion of rooftop solar installations on seven city buildings, totaling 756 panels and 320,000 kW/year.
On Thursday at Fire Station 10, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Fire Chief Karl Lieb and Tyler Poulson from the Sustainability Department discussed the City’s recent investment in solar power on seven separate municipal facilities, including five fire stations.
This latest round of installations doubles the total number of Salt Lake City municipal sites with solar energy to 14 separate facilities. When combined with the City’s recent enrollment in the Rocky Mountain Power Subscriber Solar Program, the total amount of renewable energy projects equals roughly 12 percent of annual electricity needs for City government facilities.
The locations receiving solar installations thus far in 2017 include Fire Station 1, Fire Station 4, Fire Station 7, Fire Station 10, Fire Station 13, Regional Athletic Complex and Pioneer Police Precinct. In total, 756 solar panels were added and they will provide between 17 percent and 92 percent of onsite annual electricity needs, depending on the facility. Read more
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
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.
On January 12, 2017, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski signed the Sustainable Infrastructure Executive Order, calling for citywide collaboration on sustainability.
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.
by Avery Driscoll
Solar’s been in the news a lot lately. Tax incentives, rate structures, and more have been keeping policy makers, utility staff, and renewable advocates busy.
One reason is that solar is growing at an exponential rate! In fact, Utah is now the 16th largest solar producer in the country.
Our state’s rooftop solar energy production has grown from one-tenth of a megawatt to an estimated 140 megawatts in just ten years. This means that the market for rooftop solar power has grown by 140,000% in a decade, and that doesn’t even include the increase in utility-scale production!
In order to ensure that solar production can continue to grow, the local non-profit Utah Clean Energy recently released A 10 Year Solar Deployment Plan for Utah, which was produced in partnership with Salt Lake City. Read more
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and City Council have committed to a Joint Resolution to transition the community to 100 percent renewable electricity sources by 2032 and an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2040.
The Mayor and City Councilmember Erin Mendenhall were joined by other City leaders and community members on the steps of the City and County Building today to announce the resolution.
“This is the most ambitious step ever taken by Salt Lake City to address the threat of climate change,” said Mayor Biskupski. “This commitment places the City among leading communities worldwide that acknowledge our responsibility to rapidly reduce emissions and forge a new path forward that protects our economies, societies and overall human well-being.”
Salt Lake City had previously committed to 100 percent renewable electricity sources for its government operations, along with major carbon reductions for City operations, but this resolution expands the scope to include all electricity and emissions on a community scale.
The Joint Resolution cited the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and being driven by the burning of fossil fuels. The Resolution also acknowledged local impacts such as changes in water systems and extreme weather events that are affecting Salt Lake City now and will be exacerbated in the future.
“We can tackle this challenge and deliver clean energy solutions that will simultaneously improve air quality, protect public health and deliver local jobs. Leading on climate change today is an obligation we all share with each other and to future generations,” stated Mayor Biskupski.
Visit www.slcgreen.com/climatepositive for more information about the plan.
See the full Carbon Reduction Joint Resolution here.