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Posts tagged ‘Blue Sky’

Salt Lake City Debuts Solar Project at Sorenson Community Campus with Support from Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky Participants

June 30, 2020

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Salt Lake City recently “flipped the switch” on its latest municipal solar installation on the roof of the Sorenson Multi-Cultural Center. The 360-panel array was funded in part by a grant from Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky customers and will generate about 34 percent of the amount of electricity the Sorenson Community Campus consumes annually. This amount of solar generation is equivalent to burning about 129,000 pounds of coal annually.

The 115-kilowatt system was installed as part of the Campus’ larger two-year renovation project.

Aerial photo of Sorenson Community Center featuring new solar panels.
Aerial photo of Sorenson campus with new solar installation.

Through its Blue Sky program, Rocky Mountain Power agreed to fund 41 percent of eligible project costs, up to a maximum of $140,000. The remainder of the solar installation is being funded by the Salt Lake City Sustainability Department.

“We are thrilled to unveil this impressive solar array at Salt Lake City’s flagship community center serving our Glendale and Poplar Grove residents,” Mayor Erin Mendenhall said. “We’re committed to bringing the benefits of clean energy to all areas of our city and we extend our deepest gratitude to Rocky Mountain Power and its Blue Sky participants for making this possible.” 

Blue Sky is an opt-in program that gives Rocky Mountain Power customers the opportunity to financially support renewable energy development. Since 2006, Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky customers have voluntarily supported wind and solar energy generation in the region. Blue Sky has provided more than $11 million in funding to community-based renewable energy projects.

The Sorenson Community Campus includes both the Sorenson Unity Center and the Sorenson Multi-Cultural Center. The Sorenson Unity Center, located at 1383 S 900 W, houses a fitness center, computer labs and technology center, classrooms, a theater space, art galleries, and more. It offers many community programs, including donated dental services, tax prep assistance, early Head Start, and afterschool and summer programs run by Salt Lake City’s Youth & Family Division.

The Sorenson Multi-Cultural Center offers many youth and adult programs and houses a swimming pool, boxing gym, drop-in childcare, and basketball gyms. 

“The installation of a solar array on the Sorenson Campus is a great complement to our educational offerings and community programming,” said Ken Perko, Associate Director of the Division of Youth and Family Services. “Patrons will be able to see the impact of solar production from a cost-savings and energy efficiency standpoint, allowing us to provide direct connections to our environmental education programs.” 

“Organizations like the Sorenson Center play a crucial role in our communities and we are grateful to our Blue Sky customers for making renewable projects like these possible,” said Bill Comeau, Rocky Mountain Power Vice President for Customer Solutions.

Photo of Sorenson Campus from above.
Sorenson campus solar installation.

The Sorenson solar installation is the latest clean energy project for Salt Lake City. The City has installed solar on over a dozen buildings, purchased 3 MW of Subscriber Solar from Rocky Mountain Power, and is working to source at least half of its municipal electric consumption from renewable sources. The City is also partnering with Rocky Mountain Power to achieve net-100 percent clean electricity for the whole Salt Lake City community by 2030. Twenty-two other Utah communities are also currently participating in this initiative. 

See real-time solar energy generation at the Sorenson Campus here!

For more information on:

Check out the Salt Lake Tribune story “Good news for Glendale as Salt Lake City’s Sorenson Center goes solar”.

See more of the Sorenson solar installation in the gallery below.

City Celebrates a Trio of Landmark Solar Projects

Mayor Ralph Becker, Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett, Rocky Mountain Power’s Alene Bentley and Salt Lake City Police Officer Bill Silvers gathered today to mark the completion of three landmark solar projects at the City’s solar farm.

“Salt Lake City made a commitment to reduce our impact on air quality by embracing sustainable energy and transportation initiatives,” said Mayor Ralph Becker. “Today we celebrate three projects that represent a huge leap forward for the City and our community. Not only are we flipping the switch on our new solar farm – which will generate over 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of sustainable energy per year – we are marking two new rooftop installations on Plaza 349 and the Public Safety Building.”

Over 4,000 solar panels were installed on the three project sites, which will generate 1.7 million kilowatt-hours annually. Generating an equivalent amount of electricity would require over 1.8 million pounds of coal each year. All solar panels installed have a 25-year power output warranty and expected life of up to 40 years, protecting the City’s investment for many years to come.

In total, the three projects will reduce CO2 emissions from City operations by three million pounds per year, while also creating a positive air quality impact.

Public Safety Building: Rooftop

The roof of the Public Safety Building is covered by over 1,000 solar panels with a total capacity of 350 kilowatts. These panels complement the 30 kilowatt solar canopy that shades visitors entering the building and help the project achieve a net zero energy status. In addition to providing power for daily operations, 30 percent of the rooftop solar panels have been wired to provide emergency electricity directly to the building in the event of a power blackout.

Public Safety Building: Solar Farm

This 3,000 panel ground-mounted solar array was developed to help offset the energy and carbon emissions associated with the new Public Safety Building. Located west of downtown Salt Lake City, this solar installation is the largest ever completed by Salt Lake City Corporation. The 1.2 million kilowatt-hours generated annually is enough to power 130 average Utah homes from now through at least 2040.

Plaza 349: Rooftop

Plaza 349 in downtown Salt Lake City is home to a variety of City operations, including Engineering, Transportation and Technology. The work of these employees will now be powered in part by clean, renewable energy thanks to a funding award from the Rocky Mountain Power Blue Sky program, made possible by more than 38,000 Blue Sky customers in Utah. The City used Blue Sky Community Project Funds to place 136 solar panels atop the roof of this recently renovated building. The public is invited to track production of this solar array in real-time online.

And the City isn’t stopping here! We’re exploring a wide range of sustainable energy sources, from solar to small-scale hydroelectric and everything in between. Stay tuned…

Art Fans Unite! Festival Runs June 26-29

It’s time for the annual Utah Art’s Festival!

Spanning four days from June 26-29, this momentous event attracts the entire city to enjoy live music, unique film performances, endless art displays, and of course, incredible food. The Arts Festival is an opportunity for everyone to explore, engage, and appreciate the vibrant city culture within Salt Lake.

The festival schedule this year offers everything from beginner’s drawing workshops and comic book creations to epic concert performances and the “Fear No Film” series of unique and impactful independent films. And of course, how could you forget the food? Between Thursday’s Chef Competition, the Leo Libations Wine Pairing workshop, and the numerous booths providing delicious eats, this annual celebration will undoubtedly be a memorable crowd-pleaser.

If you’re still in need of reasons to attend, more good news awaits: this year, the festival is going above and beyond to “green” up the four day celebration.

As in past years, the Festival is offering FREE bike valet services along 400 South in the sponsored Blue Sky Bike Lot. As we all know, downtown parking can be nothing short of a crowded nightmare; do yourself AND the environment a favor and bike down for free! Worried about the trek back? The Library TRAX station is located just outside the festival and can take you safely where you need to go. Additionally, the 228 and 205 buses run directly by the heart of the festival; you, your friends, and your bike can catch a hands-free ride home after a day of artistic enjoyment.

The Arts Festival is also proud to announce this year’s recycling opportunities for plastic bottles, cups, aluminum cans, cardboard, glass, food scraps, and even vegetable oil. Be sure to keep an eye out around the tents for designated garbage, recycle, and compost bins throughout the plaza. Our beautiful city will thank you!

Even more exciting news: Rocky Mountain Power, in partnership with Blue Sky, will be transforming the festival into an entirely “green” event by supporting renewable energy equivalent to the amount required to fuel the four-day celebration. To put this in numbers, the Festival will be preventing the potential emission of 87,398 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. With the additional help of all the attendees who will spend the days enjoying the outdoors rather than driving around, it’s safe to say that the Utah Arts Festival is officially a notable step towards a greener Salt Lake!

If you’ve ever doubted joining in on this annual event, 2014 is certainly the year to hop on board and let loose for a weekend of great food, incredible art, lively performances, and now more than ever, the chance to help keep our beautiful environment clean. See you all there!

This post was written by SLCgreen intern Lauren Mills.