The Utah Public Service Commission finally approved an application by Rocky Mountain Power on behalf of six major organizations in the state to purchase power and renewable energy from a major new solar project in Tooele County owned and developed by Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI ). The application leverages the Schedule 34 renewable energy tariff, which enables Rocky Mountain Power’s large customers to purchase renewable energy through the utility in order to meet the company’s clean energy goals.
Its six customers include three local governments (Salt Lake City, Park City and Summit Counties), one college (Utah Valley University) and two ski resorts (Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain).
All six organizations have worked with Rocky Mountain Power to get more of their internal electricity needs from low-cost renewable sources. With the final appointment of the commission, an important milestone will be reached for the online delivery of the solar project by 2023. Elektron Solar, an 80 megawatt MWAC solar project in Tooele County, was selected and recently signed contracts for its full 80 MWAC capacity.
The Elektron Solar project is owned and built by DESRI. It builds on a successful collaboration between DESRI and Enyo Renewable Energy (ERE), a Utah-based renewable energy developer who is now responsible for more than 275 MWAC new customers, solar capacity will be built in Northern Utah in 2021 and 2022. The project was originally developed and approved by ERE, a joint venture between Enyo and MAP Energy subsidiaries. The Elektron Solar project is expected to support approximately 100 construction jobs and provide an ongoing source of income for both Tooele County and the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration of the State of Utah, which owns the land on which the project is located.
Once built, the solar project will be one of the largest solar generators connected to the Rocky Mountain Power system. The larger facility allows customers to meet a significant portion of their needs with the production of the project at a very competitive price. Salt Lake City Corporation expects to get nearly 90% of its annual electricity from the project, while city utility electricity bills will increase by less than 2%.
“Our DE Shaw Renewable Investments team is excited to work with communities across Utah to deliver affordable, clean power to citizens,” said Hy Martin, DESRI’s chief development officer. “We are excited to be helping cities and municipalities lead the clean energy transition in the US. This project builds on DESRI’s extensive renewable energy presence across the country and continues our work to provide power to public and private facilities in the region. “
“This project marks the Salt Lake City Corporation’s greatest clean energy achievement to date, but it won’t be the last,” said Erin Mendenhall, Salt Lake City Mayoress. “Our goal is to get 50% of our community electricity needs from clean energy, and this project will bring us to almost 90%. Next, we work tirelessly to achieve 100% net clean electricity for our entire community. The Rocky Mountain Power and Elektron solar project has shown how affordable clean energy is and how well a multi-customer acquisition project works. We are well on our way to realizing these larger goals as the urgency of climate change calls for it. “
Message from Rocky Mountain Power