Utah is just beginning to tap into its solar energy potential, ranking No. 5 in installed solar capacity out of all the mountain states of the West. It now has enough solar energy installed to power 5,500 homes; however, more solar development is in the works that will bring Utah closer to its neighboring states like Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico, which are already booming with solar activity.
In reality, this spike in activity has already started.
In May, the largest operating solar power plant in Utah successfully came online. The South Milford solar facility in Milford boasts 3.8 megawatts (MW) and is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 500 homes, eliminating more than 12 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of taking more than 1,200 cars off the road.
Furthermore, Utah is expected to jump from 32 MW of total installed solar capacity to over 500 MW in just the next two years. If you think about it, that would be adding enough solar capacity to power an additional 90,000 homes in the state.
Milestones like this are possible because of smart and effective public policies, like Utah’s net metering policy, renewable portfolio goal, sales tax exemption and tax credit, along with the federal ITC. Thanks to the federal ITC, more than 1,500 jobs were created in Utah in 2014, which include jobs from the state’s largest employer — Vivint Solar. Thousands of additional Utahns can count on solar jobs too, as 500 MW of solar capacity are added over the next two years.
Consider what’s occurred in America since the federal ITC was enacted in 2006:
• Solar has been added to 570,000 homes.
• More than 150,000 solar jobs have been created.
• More than 19.5 gigawatts of solar capacity have been installed — representing 97 percent of all solar capacity ever installed.
Read the full Deseret News article here
Rhone Resch, “My view: It could be the beginning of solar boom in Utah,” DeseretNews, http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865633939/It-could-be-the-beginning-of-solar-boom-in-Utah.html