OED is forging new strategic partnerships to advance Utah’s energy and minerals economy, infrastructure, and key export opportunities to support the state’s thriving economy and high quality of life.
Utah and Mexico Sign Agreement to Advance Exports
Baja California’s Ministry of Economic Development and the Governor’s Office of Energy Development signed an agreement on Aug. 24, 2018 to promote collaboration in advancing infrastructure, technology, and global market access for Utah’s energy resources.
“We thank the Governor’s Office of Energy Development for all the previous work that has led us to this moment in which we can sign a memorandum of understanding that will set the basis for a close binational collaboration for the benefit of both entities,” said Carlo Bonfante, secretary of economic development for Baja California.
The signing took place at the Port of Ensenada as part of an OED-led stakeholder visit to explore transport options from the U.S. border in San Diego to the port terminal roughly 65 miles south. The port registers as one of the most commercially dynamic exchange locations in the world, with connections to 64 ports in 28 countries. In the coming years, the port is set to expand to El Sauzal, five miles north, creating potential for greater export opportunities for Utah’s commodities.
The agreement and visit to Baja California comes after the Utah Governor, Gary R. Herbert’s trade mission to Mexico in April, as well as a series of government and industry stakeholder meetings in the months thereafter.
OED and its professional staff are an exemplary example of a successful government entity which benefits businesses, and promotes strong and vibrant economic growth in Utah.
FORGE-ing New Geothermal Technologies
On June 14, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy announced Utah as the winning site to receive up to $140 million in funding across five years to build a first-of-its kind research laboratory to advance next generation geothermal technologies.
Led by the University of Utah’s Energy & Geoscience Institute, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Energy Development, the Utah Geological Survey and other key agencies, the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) laboratory will be located near Milford.
The site will be dedicated to exploring enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), or manmade geothermal reservoirs created by techniques that have revolutionized the oil and gas industry through hydraulic fracturing.
“Utah is proud to provide national leadership in advancing energy innovation that will help drive affordable, baseload, renewable power to market,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “This will put Utah on the map as a world leader for geothermal research as well as expand geothermal production here in rural Utah and throughout the world.”
Facebook Chooses Utah
On May 30, 2018 Facebook announced it will begin construction on a 970,000 square foot data center at the Sweetwater Industrial Park in Eagle Mountain, Utah.
Facebook’s investment includes more than $100 million in infrastructure, including a new electrical substation that will bring 1000 megawatts of new power delivery capacity to the region to support additional economic development in Eagle Mountain and the surrounding area.
The Governor’s Office of Energy Development has been committed to accelerating infrastructure investment by providing a significant non-refundable, post-performance tax incentive to Facebook.
The data center would be powered by 100%, net-new renewable energy through utilization of Rocky Mountain Power’s available renewable energy tariffs. Facebook will purchase its own water rights and construct the required water infrastructure, which is expected to be designed incredibly efficient, reusing water multiple times.
The Governor’s Office of Energy Development Group Photo
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Advancing Tier 3 Fuels
On April 3, 2018, Governor Gary R. Herbert joined Andeavor Chairman, President and CEO Gregory Goff and multiple stakeholder groups at Andeavor's Salt Lake City Refinery to break ground on the company’s hydrotreater expansion project, marking continued progress in improving Utah’s air quality through the production of cleaner ‘Tier 3’ fuels.
Tier 3 fuels reduce the sulfur content of fuels, enabling a car’s catalytic converter to run better and reduces volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions on all vehicles. On vehicles with newer emissions reduction equipment, the emissions reduction in is even greater, up to 81 percent.
The Governor’s Office of Energy Development has been committed to accelerating refinery investment in cleaner Tier 3 fuels by providing a significant non-refundable, post-performance tax incentive.
“This is a big win for our air quality,” said Gov. Herbert. “We’re proud to see Utah’s largest refinery partner with my Office of Energy Development to invest in.
Utah’s First Food Waste Digester
On June 15, 2017 Governor Gary R. Herbert joined Wasatch Resource Recovery, ALPRO Energy & Water and the South Davis Sewer District to break ground on Utah’s first anaerobic digester for organic food waste.
The WRR facility will allow food waste to be diverted from landfills and recycled into biogas that can be used as renewable energy and nutrient-rich, carbon-based fertilizer to grow crops. This process can generate enough natural gas from previously landfilled materials to continuously supply a community the size of Bountiful, Utah (40,000 people).
The Governor’s Office of Energy Development has been committed to advancing the innovative project by providing a significant non-refundable, post-performance tax incentive.
"By forging unprecedented partnerships, Utah continues to lead on providing innovative, market-based solutions that drive our energy economy, grow jobs, and improve our air quality," said Laura Nelson, the governor's energy advisor. "We are proud to carry forward Governor Herbert's vision to help create pioneering outcomes to meet the demands of our future through enterprising projects, like Wasatch Resource Recovery."
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