We’re excited to announce Utah’s first Climate Week, with events from Ogden to Orem and here in the capital city!
Organized by the Utah Climate Action Network, Utah Clean Energy, and Salt Lake City, Climate Week will provide an inspiring opportunity for community members to learn of the risks and breakthrough solutions to climate change.
Click here for a full list of events, and take note of an interesting panel we’ll be part of on October 12: Utah’s Clean Energy Future.
Mayor Biskupski will offer opening remarks on our Climate Positive goals and SLCgreen team member Tyler Poulson will participate on the panel discussing what cities in Utah are doing to transition to clean energy. Other panelists include HEAL Utah, the Sierra Club, and Rocky Mountain Power. Utah Clean Energy will moderate the discussion.
What: Utah’s Clean Energy Future
When: Thursday, October 12, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Where: Salt Lake City Main Library Auditorium (210 E 400 S)
Learn more in the press release below.
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
The U.S. Conference of Mayors approved a historic resolution that establishes support from the nation’s mayors for the goal of moving to 100 percent clean and renewable energy in cities nationwide.
Resolution 36 was co-sponsored by Mayor Biskupski and Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina. It specifically cites wind, solar, geothermal, and wave technology as renewable sources cities should be embracing to combat climate change.
Today, Mayor Jackie Biskupski and a coalition of U.S. mayors joined with the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign in a new effort to engage and recruit mayors to endorse a goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy in cities throughout the country.
The initiative, “Mayors for 100% Clean Energy,” is led by Mayor Biskupski; Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine; Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin; and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. The mayors function as co-chairs of the effort.
Salt Lake City announced its 100 percent goal last July when the Mayor and City Council passed a joint resolution establishing the goals of transitioning the community’s electricity supply to 100 percent clean energy by 2032, followed by an overall reduction of community greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2040. Read more
Salt Lake City, along with local government partners Park City and Summit County, is exploring creative new pathways towards securing more clean energy for the community.
The SLC City Council and elected officials from the other two communities recently adopted an Interlocal Agreement that commits the municipalities to collaborate and jointly fund a feasibility study. The study will evaluate renewable energy options, impacts, and opportunities to create a cleaner electricity supply for the long-term.
More clean energy on the way!
The Interlocal Agreement reiterated what many of us already know–that energy choices have a notable impact on public health, including the economic and social well-being of current and future residents. The Agreement also noted that Utah has an abundant supply of solar energy, being one of the 10 sunniest states in the U.S., and that a recent report from The Solar Foundation revealed that there are already over 2,500 solar jobs in Utah.
The communities are jointly seeking a firm to provide technical assistance and a feasibility report this year. Summit County has published a Request for Proposals. Results of the study could be available as early as late 2016.
Transitioning to renewable energy is essential for the City to meet its climate and air quality goals. Emissions from electricity generation create over 50 percent of the Salt Lake City community carbon footprint and over 75 percent of the carbon pollution from local government operations.
Mayor Biskupski recently set a goal of 100 percent renewable energy for electricity used in government operations by 2032. This new partnership with Park City and Summit County includes an expanded scope to help us get there. As a whole, the study will evaluate clean energy options for the entire community, including all homes and businesses.
Tackling climate change requires fresh perspectives, diverse collaborations and a profound transition to cleaner energy sources.
Join us on Thursday, February 4th to explore these themes and what they mean for Utah. We’ll be joined by two prominent local leaders, Sarah Wright and Matt Pacenza, who will share their insights on clean energy and climate solutions.
We’ll start the evening with a 60-minute screening of Episode 6 of the Emmy-award winning series Years of Living Dangerously. This will be followed by a 30-minute panel with our local experts. Episode 6 of the series focuses on methane leaks from natural gas operations, lobbying forces in America and home-grown renewable energy solutions.
RSVP to the Facebook event!
Watch the trailer:
Sarah Wright is the founder and Executive Director of Utah Clean Energy, a non-profit partnering to build the new clean energy economy in Utah for the past 15 years. She leads a team that collaborates with government, private sector and other community partners to stop energy waste while simultaneously building a smarter energy future.
Sarah is an intervener in regulatory proceedings and an expert witness in legislative hearings, testifying in support of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Sarah has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from Bradley University and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Utah.
Matt Pacenza joined HEAL Utah five years ago and began serving as Executive Director in 2015. HEAL is a non-profit that promotes renewable energy and advocates for enhanced public health while opposing toxic harms to the environment.
Matt has managed HEAL’s policy agenda on nuclear waste, energy and clean air issues and now leads the organization’s staff, program and budgets. Matt has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Policy from Cornell University and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from New York University. From the east coast, he now happily calls “Sugarhood” his home.