Utah consistently ranks among the best states for business, thanks in large part to our affordable energy. Most of Utah’s energy is produced in rural counties, which fuels economic growth along the Wasatch Front and creates high-paying jobs in rural communities. To help create and retain jobs in rural Utah, OED engages in policy matters to support state and federal policies that reduce barriers to energy and mineral development. OED also promotes a balanced approach to implement market-based incentives that support innovation across all resources.
- Dr. Laura Nelson facilitated the Solar Net Metering agreement, creating a glide path for Utah’s 6,000-job solar industry to become sustainable without subsidies. In fact, Utah was ranked #1 for solar jobs added in 2017 and #4 for solar jobs per capita.
- The U.S. Department of Energy selected Milford, Utah, as the location for its Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) field laboratory. The project will create 23 new jobs with an average full-time wage of $94,000 per year and a capital investment of more than $100 million. Learn more.
- With the help of the OED-administered state Production Tax Credit, 27 new solar PV projects have come online throughout Millard, Beaver, and Iron counties, representing a $1.65 billion capital investment. Solar PV jobs estimate?
- OED helped facilitate the commercialization of Utah Juniper trees as a source biomass fuel stock, creating eight jobs in Sevier County. In addition to promoting rural job growth and providing a source of energy, commercializing Juniper biomass enhances Utah’s environmental ecosystem by clearing an invasive tree species and reducing wildfire risk.
- In 2017, North Sanpete High School utilized OED’s U-Save program to complete building upgrades, creating eight FTEs in Sanpete County.
- Additional OED projects creating FTEs across rural Utah include the installation of EV charging stations in Millard and Washington Counties and work in Vernal to create statewide renewable energy siting guide.