Rocky Mountain Power Partners with Utah Blue Sky Customers to Build First Large-Scale Solar Project
March 26, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Rocky Mountain Power announced plans today to build a solar farm in Utah that will provide enough electricity for 500 homes. The project will have about 9,000 panels and will be partially funded by the company’s Blue Sky program.
“This is the first utility-sized solar project to be funded in part by Blue Sky customers and we plan to do more,” said Rocky Mountain Power President Richard Walje. “We are committed to providing a bright energy future to customers by bringing them even more renewable energy choices.”
This is the first Blue Sky solar project that will provide renewable energy for all Rocky Mountain Power customers in Utah. For more than a decade, the company’s Blue Sky program has provided an easy and convenient way for customers to support renewable energy development in the western United States. Utah currently has more than 38,000 Blue Sky customers. Blue Sky funding awards also have helped to make possible more than 100 smaller renewable energy projects in Utah.
“A growing number of Utah customers want to buy electricity from renewable energy sources, especially in-state projects,” said Walje. “We’ve listened and with support from our Blue Sky customers we’re able to build a solar project in Utah to help respond to that desire. This is in addition to the renewable energy we buy from wind and solar projects in Utah. Our company also is the second-largest, rate-regulated utility owner of wind resources in the country.”
The exact location of the solar farm will be determined later this year after studies are completed. Rocky Mountain Power considered locations in the Salt Lake City area but is now looking at other company-owned sites that will make the project less expensive to build and can produce an estimated 15 to 20 percent more energy.
If approved by the Utah Public Service Commission, the solar project is expected to be online in June 2016. The project will initially provide 2 megawatts of power but may be expanded later to produce 5 megawatts. In order to provide the best value for customers, Rocky Mountain Power will seek bids from qualified providers to construct the project and initially lease the facility in order to receive federal tax benefits.
Separately, the Blue Sky program will accept funding applications for renewable energy projects from April 9 to June 30. Blue Sky dollars available for awards are limited, vary year to year and are offered on a competitive basis. Residential customers are not eligible to apply. For additional information and requirements, visit rockymountainpower.net/blueskyfunds.
Rocky Mountain Power customers can choose to support Blue Sky renewable energy for as little as $1.95 per month. For more information about Blue Sky, visit rockymountainpower.net/bluesky.
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