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Posts tagged ‘renewable energy’

Announcing New Community Solar Programs

Utah Clean Energy is thrilled to announce the launch of not one, but two more Community Solar programs; Mountain Town Community Solar and U Community Solar.

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Community Solar makes putting solar on your roof simple and streamlined by helping neighbors team up and take advantage of a community network and volume pricing. See below for details of the two distinct Community Solar programs and find out which one will work for you.

Mountain Town Community Solar Launch Event, March 28mountain town

Summit and Wasatch Counties are giving new meaning to the phrase power in numbers. Community volunteers have come together with non-profit organizations Summit Community Power Works and Utah Clean Energy to launch Mountain Town Community Solar – a program to help residents tackle the solar process as a team, realize cost savings through bulk purchasing power, and energize their communities with clean energy.

Mountain Town Community Solar will host its launch event on Monday, March 28th at 6:00 pm at the Jim Santy Auditorium (1255 Park Ave., Park City, UT, 84060). RSVP here.

Workshop for U Community Solar, March 30u community solar

Back by popular demand, the University of Utah is once again partnering with Utah Clean Energy to bring members of the campus community in Salt Lake, Summit, and Davis Counties the opportunity to go solar.

Members of the University of Utah campus community (including alumni, faculty, staff, students, and campus guests) are eligible for a substantial discount on the cost of rooftop solar and a streamlined, simplified solar installation process.

The first workshop for U Community Solar will be held on Wednesday, March 30th at the A. Ray Olpin University of Utah Union, Union Theater, Salt Lake City, UT 83112. RSVP here.

Solving Climate Change with Clean Energy: A Special Event on Thursday, February 4

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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:

Speaker Bios

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.

Salt Lake City Passes Carbon Fee & Dividend Resolution

On Tuesday, November 10, 2015, the Salt Lake City Council and the Mayor’s Office passed a joint resolution that urges Congress to pass a fee on carbon-based energy, and have the revenue be returned to American households in the form of a dividend.

This is the approach advocated for by the local chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Leaders from Salt Lake City’s Citizens’ Climate Lobby will be featured panelists at the upcoming Years of Living Dangerously screening on Thursday, December 3rd  at 7 p.m. at the Main Library Auditorium, hosted by Salt Lake City Green and the Utah Film Center.

If you would like to learn more about the carbon-based energy fee and dividend movement, visit CitizensClimateLobby.org and watch their short video.

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Utah Regulators Approve Subscriber Solar Program

Solar-Panels

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Public Service Commission has approved a new program that allows customers to subscribe to some or all of their electricity from solar power. Rocky Mountain Power sought approval from the state last June for the subscriber solar program which gives customers a choice to get their power from the sun even if they cannot afford rooftop solar panels or live in apartments or condos.

Using a competitive bidding process, Rocky Mountain Power is in final negotiations with a developer to build a 20-megawatt solar farm here in Utah. The solar farm is expected to be built and on-line in late 2016.

“Utility-scale solar is the most cost-effective way to build solar and the bidding process will help us select the best economical choice for our customers,” said Lucky Morse, Rocky Mountain Power Regional Business Management Director. “It’s exciting because the pricing is very competitive and will offer customers a terrific value.”

Participants will be able to subscribe in 200-kilowatt hour blocks up to their total usage; the 20-megawatt solar farm will provide 20,000 blocks. Residential customers will receive a “locked-in” generation rate of 7.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, plus about 4 cents for transmission and distribution, totaling 11.7 cents per kilowatt-hour.

For example, a typical Utah customer uses 742 kilowatt-hours monthly and would pay an additional $1.26 each month (average) for one solar block. The benefits and costs of the program will vary depending on how much electricity a customer uses.

“High-energy users in the summer may actually pay less money for their energy because electricity costs are as high as 14.5 cents per kilowatt-hour,” added Morse. “The ‘locked-in’ rate is also a hedge if electricity prices go up in the future.”

The subscriber solar program is a great alternative for people who are renting, cannot afford solar panels, have homes that are not suited for rooftop solar, are restricted due to HOA rules, or simply don’t want rooftop solar systems. Subscribers will not have to pay upfront costs, make long-term commitments or deal with the ongoing maintenance of installed solar panels.

Salt Lake City intends to subscribe to a sizable amount of solar for its municipal operations to lock in the energy portion of the city’s bills for up to 20 years.

“Salt Lake City supports this new program aimed at expanding the portfolio of renewable energy options for our residents,” said Vicki Bennett, Salt Lake City Sustainability Director. “Subscriber Solar offers a choice for residents and business owners who are unable to install solar, but still desire a direct connection to clean energy sources. We believe this program can be a major catalyst for ongoing transitions to renewable energy in Utah.”

The voluntary program will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers will be able to subscribe to the program soon. Subscribers would only pay a termination fee if they cancel their subscription before three years after they enroll.

The program will also be available for commercial and industrial customers. Customers can get more details and sign up to receive updates and put their names on a list indicating they would like to subscribe to the program at rockymountainpower.net/subscriber.

Original press release posted by Rocky Mountain Power.

“Live more with less” keynote speaker asks us to transition the way we live

richard_filterLaura Schmidt with SLCgreen attended a “Live more with less” seminar earlier this month. 

On Friday, October 3, a group convened at Utah Valley University to discuss how we in Utah can live more with less. The keynote speaker was author and educator, Richard Heinberg, who is best known for his books, Snake Oil and The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality.

Heinberg suggests we make four systemic changes to “live more with less.”

Energy. We not only need more reliance on renewable energy but we need to restructure how we use energy. The United States is an energy glutton and we’re going to need to be more efficient about our use. Unplugging devices when they aren’t in use, switching to CFL light bulbs, and installing energy-saving appliances is a great start to reducing energy use. Every bit adds up to drastically cut emissions.

Transportation. We’ll also have to rely more on public and active transportation to get around and, in general, learn to be less mobile. Future cities, says Heinberg, should be designed to help citizens get around without requiring a car.

Efficient Buildings. We’ll also have to continue constructing buildings more efficiently. Many buildings in the U.S. require tremendous energy for operation and we need to cut down on their energy requirements.

Food. Finally, Heinberg said we need to redesign our food system because it is currently entirely dependent on fossil fuels. From irrigation systems to pesticide use, fossil fuels are used in every step of the agricultural process.

The good news is that these changes are attainable. In fact, Salt Lake City is already working on many of Heinberg’s suggestions. We’ve recently installed a 1 megawatt solar farm and have solar panels on several of our City buildings. The recent completion of the Public Safety Building reflects that we can be more innovative with our new buildings and design them to be net zero for energy.

In addition to these efforts, one of SLCgreen’s newest programs, Project Skyline, aims to help building owners across the city to exceed the air quality and energy-saving targets of Sustainable Salt Lake – Plan 2015 by evaluating their building’s energy use, setting energy savings goals, and conducting energy-saving improvement projects.

Heinberg also suggested ways for individuals to implement changes in their communities. We can begin building up community connections and the idea that “we are all in this together.” Each of us can prioritize the health of our local environment, and work towards intergenerational solidarity. Heinberg also included that we must orient ourselves toward seeking happiness, finding satisfaction in honest work, and making meaningful art.

You can learn more about Richard Heinberg’s work at RichardHeinberg.com. 

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.