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Amanda Smith leaving as head of Utah Department of Environmental Quality to pursue job opportunities in the private sector

Brian Maffly – The Salt Lake Tribune A woman at the center of some of Utah’s most pressing environmental challenges — from the waste we store to the air we breathe and the water we drink — is leaving her post. Utah Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director Amanda Smith will step down next month after six years on the job, Gov. Gary Herbert announced Thursday. Smith, a former Nature…

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Tracy Aviary Unveils New Solar Trees

Nicole Nixon – KUER Officials and dignitaries cut the ribbon on a new solar project at Tracy Aviary today as a celebration of Earth Day. They’re called solar trees and they’re made of two 20-foot limbs which each support a solar panel. The two solar trees at Tracy Aviary are painted pink to match the flamingos, whose habitat rests beneath the new panels. Tim Brown is the executive director of…

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Two Ogden-area plants receive ENERGY STAR recognition

Leia Larsen – Standard Examiner Energy savings can come from small steps, even for some of the Ogden area’s largest manufacturing plants. This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded ENERGY STAR certifications to two Ogden-area industrial plants. It marked the ConAgra Foods’ Ogden Plant’s first ENERGY STAR award. The facility makes waffles and cookies, including Lofthouse brand sugar cookies. The EPA also recognized concrete manufacturer Holcim USA’s Devils Slide…

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Solar power coming to the Top of Utah

Leia Larsen – Standard Examiner Just in time for Earth Day, Weber State University is announcing a partnership with Utah Clean Energy to bring more solar power to northern Utah. The university will bring the Susie Hulet Community Solar Program to Morgan, Weber and Davis counties this summer, with a streamlined process for installing panels, a discounted price and vetted installers. It’s modeled after the University of Utah’s U Community…

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SunEdison Breaks Ground On 22.6 MW Seven Sisters Solar Power Plants In Utah

PR Newswire SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE), the world’s largest renewable energy development company, today announced the groundbreaking for the 22.6 megawatt (MW) DC Seven Sisters solar project in Southern Utah. The Seven Sisters are seven separate solar power plants, four of which are located in Beaver County and three in Iron County, Utah. Rocky Mountain Power, a division of PacifiCorp will purchase the electricity under seven separate 20-year power purchase agreements…

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Electric bus being tested by UTA

Jasen Lee – Deseret News The Utah Transit Authority is test-driving a new first-of-its-kind, high-tech vehicle that could one day take passengers along the Wasatch Front with less noise and no air pollution. The agency Monday became one of the first in the country to test a prototype bus manufactured by Chinese-headquartered BYD Company. The initials stand for “build your dream.” The firm is the world’s largest manufacturer of lithium-ion…

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Earth Month: UCAIR and Chevron Team Up for Gas-Can Exchange

Angie Koford – Utah Department of Environmental Quality Editor’s note: April is Earth Month at DEQ. We’ve invited guest bloggers to share their thoughts on the ways individuals, businesses, governments, and universities can contribute to making our world a little greener. Warmer spring temperatures make me want to spend my weekends working in the yard. Time to get out the lawn equipment — which means it’s time to get out…

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GREENbike rolls out for third year downtown

The Salt Lake Tribune – Christopher Smart GREENbike began its third season of bike sharing Tuesday in downtown Salt Lake City, with over 150 bikes available at 20 stations. Last year, 14,538 people rode 113 GREENbikes 46,264 times in 264 days — an average of 411 trips per bike. This year, an annual pass costs $75 and includes unlimited one-hour trips for a year. A 24-hour pass costs $5 and…

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BYU researchers discover process for improving solar panel technology

Lana Medina – KUTV BYU researchers believe they can harvest the energy of the sun for solar energy at almost double the rate of current solar panel technology. It all has to do with particles so small you need a microscope to see them. Physics undergraduate Stephen Erickson and fellow BYU graduate student Trevor Smith are part of a team that recently published a study involving nano-sized crystals. The research…

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University of Utah student technology illuminates impacts of solar power

Katie McKellar – Deseret News The University of Utah unveiled student-made technology Monday that university students and officials hope will open eyes to the potential of solar power and other renewable energy systems. While celebrating the university’s solar system installed last year, University of Utah graduate Tom Melburn introduced the final product of a project he has spearheaded since 2011 to create a tool that sheds light on the energy-saving…

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