County Mayor's Message
Salt Lake County is becoming a nationwide leader in energy conservation and use of renewable energy sources.
We announced a solar panel installation project for the roof of the Calvin L. Rampton-Salt Palace Convention Center. This is a one-of-a-kind project. When finished, it will be one the largest solar roof top installations in the country and will more than double the current solar capacity in our state.
Salt Lake County is committed to providing cleaner, renewable energy in its facilities.
The United States consumes an estimated nearly 3.9 billion megawatt hours of electricity per year, according to the Energy Information Administration (http://www.eia.doe.gov/ ). And there's little doubt that tomorrow's needs will be greater than today. So it is incumbent on us to develop renewable solar, wind and geothermal energy sources.
The Salt Palace solar installation alone is designed to generate approximately a quarter of the annual energy consumed at the convention center. That's enough to power 261 homes for a year. It will save money, generate clean energy, and serve as an example of the solar possibilities in Utah.
The day is nearing when the installation of solar panels or establishment of wind farms will no longer be big news. We will see solar panels on business and residential rooftops; wind turbines will dot the landscape; they will be commonplace.
Our environment will benefit from clean, renewable energy sources. Installation of solar panels at our county facilities is just a down payment on the promise to improve our air quality along the Wasatch Front.
In the future, large numbers of homes and office buildings will produce their own energy.
As for cost, the Salt Palace solar installation will be paid by a private company. A third-party solar developer will finance, develop, own, operate and maintain the solar array. Salt Lake County will lease its roof, and purchase the power from this third-party under a long-term power purchase agreement contract.
Salt Palace Solar Project Facts:
▶This system will offset almost a quarter of the Salt Palace's annual electricity consumption, enough to power 261 home for a year.
▶Similar environmental impacts include:
-avoiding the emissions of 4,749,840 pounds of carbon dioxide each year
-not driving 412 cars each year
-not burning 242,350 gallons of gasoline each year
▶The project will cover 600,000 square feet, larger than the size of six football fields.
Besides the convention center, Salt Lake County has two more important solar projects in the works at the Riverton Senior Center and the Environmental Health Facility.
Also in September, I was invited to the Christ United Methodist Church in Millcreek Township to celebrate its new 99-panel, rooftop solar array. Church members donated about $50,000 toward the project with the remaining $60,000 being funded by Rocky Mountain Power's Blue Sky renewable energy program. Congratulations to the Christ United Methodist Church and Rocky Mountain Power for a great cooperative project.
For more information on Salt Lake County's environmental programs, visit our website: http://www.green.slco.org/ .