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Advancing Utah's Energy Future

New solar panels may help power a future with more U.S. gold medalists

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Alex Cabrero and Miranda Collette – Deseret News

Although the year 2018 may seem far off to most Americans, thoughts of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games weigh heavily on the mind of U.S. snowboarder Jackie Hernandez.

“Sochi was a good experience. It was fun. The competing piece didn’t go as planned, but it was definitely overall an awesome experience. … I’m looking forward to the next one,” Hernandez said Wednesday.

She is just one of about 200 athletes training for the 2018 Olympics at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Center of Excellence in Park City.

The center was outfitted with 126 solar panels Wednesday, which are expected to save the ski and snowboard association about $8,000 per year — money it plans on using to power future athletes’ gold medal goals.

The 32-kilowatt solar array was funded by Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky renewable energy program, which awarded the association $112,500 in 2013 for the panels.

“This is a really exciting project,” Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Jeff Hymas said. “The cost savings that U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association will see from this Blue Sky-funded project is going to help power the future of more Olympians.” (…)

To read more, please visit the Deseret News.