Skip to Content

Advancing Utah's Energy Future
Federal grant awarded to Salt Lake City company to capture sun’s energy

Renewable Energy

  • A
  • A
  • A

Solar

The solar resource in Utah is simply world class.  This has been established in multiple studies and government actions including the Western Renewable Energy Zones report, the Utah Renewable Energy Zones reports and most recently by the Department of the Interior’s designation of three Solar Energy Zones in the state. To date solar in Utah has been distributed in nature, meaning that it has typically taken the form of 1kW-1.5MW installations on homes and businesses to offset their load.  It’s an exciting time for solar in Utah!

Wind

The wind resource in Utah has been developed to a greater extent than solar, and the state boasts two successful wind projects, a 19 MW project in Spanish Fork, and a 306 MW project near Milford.  While the high-value wind resources are concentrated in the southwest portion of the state including, among others, Millard, Beaver, and Iron Counties, there are smaller pockets of prime wind resource scattered throughout the state, particularly in San Juan and Box Elder Counties, but also in isolated canyon mouths, ridges and other sites where dramatic topography produces valuable resource.

Geothermal

Utah is one of just a half-dozen or so states with a developable utility-scale geothermal resource, and currently is ranked #4 with respect to total geothermal production, with about 70MWs of nameplate capacity installed as of the end of 2013.  OED’s partners at the Utah Geological Survey have extensively mapped the states geothermal potential, and it is immense; however, given the high cost of exploratory drilling necessary to “prove” the resource, Utah can expect to see cautious, if steady growth in this unique baseload renewable resource.

Hydro

Just as in every region in the United States, Utah’s hydroelectric fleet is essentially fixed, as very little new hydro facilities are being deployed, due to the concerns of conservationists. However, there are still a great deal of opportunities for smaller applications known as “micro-hydro,” and there’s always the potential for upgrading existing facilities to improve efficiencies and lengthen the life of equipment.

Biomass

Due to the breadth of potential biomass resources – woody material and other plant-based resources, solid and liquid municipal solid waste, residual material from food processing, etc. – the resources are still being quantified and assessed, as are the options for utilization.  Certainly many wastewater treatment plans are already capturing methane and generating electricity to offset their load, and incineration provides a tried-and-true option for municipal solid waste; but in terms of waste utilization, we have only scratched the surface.  As for plant-based materials, there are a wide variety of uses, from co-firing with coal, to generating bio-oils, or even – outside of the energy arena – to the production of plastics or soil amendments.

Related Posts

Federal grant awarded to Salt Lake City company to capture sun’s energy

Amy Joi O’Donoghue, Deseret News SALT LAKE CITY — The ability to unlock the secrets of electrochemistry is unleashing a new stage in renewable energy innovation, something a top U.S. Department of Energy official said he witnessed on many fronts during a tour of a Salt Lake company. Dr. Lynn Orr, undersecretary for science and energy at the federal agency, visited multiple labs Tuesday at the headquarters of Ceramatec, which…

more >>

My view: The EPA’s clean power plan oversteps federal authority

Terry Jarrett | Deseret News The quest for cleaner energy is one of the great challenges of the 21st century, and has fueled many “green” initiatives in recent years. But something troubling is coming down the pike now that the Obama administration has announced its new Clean Power Plan (CPP). In a full-speed-ahead quest to lower carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s power plants, the administration is implementing new Environmental…

more >>

In our opinion: Using renewable energy to create a cleaner and more affordable energy system

Deseret News editorial Just about everyone is eager to end our dependence on fossil fuels, but alternative sources of energy aren’t yet ready to pick up the slack. Somewhere down the road, if we’re really going to make a transition away from oil and coal to wind and solar, we’re going to have to build an energy infrastructure that can make that happen. That’s why we’re encouraged by a recent…

more >>

Utah Red Hills Renewable Park, Utah, United States of America

Power-Technology.com Utah Red Hills Renewable Park is a solar power generating facility being developed in Parowan, Utah, by Scatec Solar with an estimated investment of $188m. It will be Utah’s biggest power generating facility upon completion and will be one of the biggest solar power plants in the country. The facility is being constructed on 630 acres of privately-owned land which is an excellent location for solar irradiation. Construction on…

more >>

Is Utah’s window for solar closing?

Here at KSL Local, we are determined to help you find the best in regards to local information, services, restaurants and much more. Today we sat down with Eric Garner, Solar Analyst for Solaroo Energy, a local Utah solar installation company, to talk about what changes await the local solar industry in the state of Utah. ITC tax credit legislation The ITC (known as the Investment Tax Credit) is set…

more >>

Utah chemist studying how to generate electricity from exercise

ANNIE KNOX | The Salt Lake Tribune A University of Utah chemist says there is a renewable energy source more abundant than sunlight that should be used to power phones and homes around the globe. The only problem, says Luisa Whittaker-Brooks, is that it’s tough to create electrical power with heat — from our bodies, the sun or other sources. “What if, instead of burning calories just for the sake…

more >>

California sun, Wyoming wind may help power Utah

Amy Joi O’Donoghue, Deseret News SALT LAKE CITY — There are times when there is so much power generated from California solar there’s no place to for it to go. Wyoming wind howls so fiercely — at the wrong time — that it is literally disappearing into thin air. Imagine a regional, integrated energy market where power providers across the 11 states in the West could plan one day ahead,…

more >>

Fight over value — and cost — of solar ignites again in Utah

BRIAN MAFFLY | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah’s fierce-if-wonky debate over rooftop solar resumed this week before the Public Service Commission, which heard three days of expert testimony and public comment on costs and benefits associated with Rocky Mountain Power’s net-metered customers. This small, but growing, number of ratepayers reduce their utility bills by generating excess power when the sun is out, which they get credited for when they draw…

more >>

RSL unveils massive new solar project

Jasen Lee, KSL SANDY — The newest team color for Utah’s Major League Soccer franchise is green. The owner of Real Salt Lake Thursday unveiled the state’s largest privately-owned solar array at Rio Tinto Stadium. The 2,020-kilowatt solar panel system, installed on the existing stadium structure as well as new covered parking areas, is expected to offset 73 percent of the organization’s total annual stadium power needs — the largest…

more >>

Solar power more affordable for some Utah students

Matthew Kunes – USA Today College From working in a mechanical room to auditing dumpsters and giving lectures in the classroom, every day is different for Weber State University Sustainability Coordinator Jennifer Bodine, who is helping to spearhead the school’s sustainability initiative. “Sometimes I have to bring a change of clothes,” said Bodine, who works in Weber State’s Energy and Sustainability Office. “We’re in the weeds physically doing the work,…

more >>