Rocky Mountain Power Marks Centennial, Donates Art for TRAX Station
October 03, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY – It was a birthday bash for Rocky Mountain Power, a celebration of the company’s centennial year and its ties to mass transit in Utah. The company dedicated an art sculpture to Salt Lake City at the TRAX light rail station near its North Temple offices and Gadsby Power Plant.
“It’s particularly fitting that our celebration is held here today—at our facilities, facing UTA’s soon-to-be-completed North Temple TRAX line,” Rocky Mountain President and CEO Richard Walje told a gathering of community leaders and company employees. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Utah Transit Authority General Manager Mike Allegra also addressed the crowd.
The new TRAX stop will be called the “Power Station,” and is on schedule to be completed later this fall.
A stylized representation of a transmission tower, the sculpture was designed as a tribute to the men and women who worked to deliver safe, reliable electric service to Utah homes and businesses for the past 100 years. Artist Darl Thomas designed both the station and the sculpture, incorporating elements of the power industry into the design.
“This beautiful sculpture honors our partnership with UTA and the Salt Lake community,” Walje said. “Supplying electricity to streets and interurban railroads was very important to the growth of the electric power industry in Utah.”
Salt Lake City was the fifth city in the world to install central station electric street lighting—behind London, New York, San Francisco and Cleveland. At the turn of the 20th Century, electric streetcars were a common sight in downtown Salt Lake City and surrounding neighborhoods. The power company was in the light-rail business for many years, operating Utah Light and Traction Co. as a subsidiary. By the end of World War II, the company shifted exclusively to electric utility service and passed the streetcar company to UTA’s predecessor, Salt Lake City Lines.
Rocky Mountain Power provided a $425,000 Blue Sky funding award to UTA to install solar panels on the canopies of four stations along North Temple, the single largest funding award for a Blue Sky renewable energy project in the program’s 11-year history. The panels will provide power for lighting and ticketing kiosks at the four stations. The project includes solar energy output displays at each of the four stations and an educational outreach plan designed to increase awareness of renewable energy and the Blue Sky program.
“It’s clear Rocky Mountain Power’s next century will be one in which renewable generation plays a prominent role,” said Mayor Becker. “I applaud Rocky Mountain’s support of the North Temple solar-powered TRAX stations and efforts to engage residents in shaping a future of renewable power through the Blue Sky Program.”
Today’s event was the culmination of four “legacy projects” Rocky Mountain Power helped fund in communities the company serves. Two projects in Wyoming, an outdoor plaza for an art museum in Casper and the restoration of a historic building at the Evanston Roundhouse and Railyards, were announced earlier in the year. The company also contributed to custom, energy efficient windows as part of the restoration of the historic Rexburg Tabernacle in Idaho.
“It is my sincere hope that these projects will be of lasting value to the communities we serve and a fitting legacy of Rocky Mountain Power’s 100 years of public service,” Walje said. “We are proud of a tradition of safety, efficiency and reliability. We pledge to serve our customers in the same tradition for the next 100 years.”
Rocky Mountain Power serves more than a million customers in about 750 communities and has customers or facilities in 28 of Utah’s 29 counties; UTA operates 146 light rail vehicles, 63 commuter rail cars and 18 locomotives in a 1,600 square mile service area from Payson to Brigham City.
For additional information, visit rockymoutainpower.net.
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