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Advancing Utah's Energy Future

Utah’s first utility-scale solar energy plant amps up to deliver

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Carin Miller | St. George News

IRON COUNTY — Eight years of hard work and vision came to fruition Thursday upon the completion and commissioning of Utah’s first, fully-functional, utility-sized solar power plant Utah Red Hills Renewable Park located in Parowan.

Investors, developers and government officials from across the globe and Utah gathered to celebrate the completion of the project with food, music and tours of the facility — despite threats of storm clouds on the horizon.

“This is a pioneering project,” Scatec Solar North America Luigi Resta said. “We did open up a market and it should have positive benefits for many of the counties and the communities with both job creation, new tax benefits and ultimately, hopefully, at low avoided cost prices of (energy).”

As a result of this project, Resta said, there are a multitude of new solar energy projects currently under development in Southern Utah that will add an additional 500 to 800 megawatts through a variety of developers, creating additional employment for trained workers in the field.

When beginning to develop Utah Red Hills Renewable Park, Resta said, one important goal was to create jobs in the locality of the development, rather than bring in outside workers to build the project. A task that Swinerton Renewable Energy Vice President George Hershman followed through on with integrity, Resta said.

“They have remained committed to what I asked them to do two years ago,” he said. “Which was to hire locally to build the project — which they have done to the utmost quality.” (…)

For more, visit St. George News.