Utah Renewable Energy

Utah Renewable Energy – Utah Climate Week kicked off Monday with an exciting update on how communities in the Beehive State are moving toward their goal of 100 percent net renewable energy by 2030.

The details are still shaky, but the overall goal is clear: to combine the purchasing power of communities over gas, with the help of Rocky Mountain Power, to promote new renewable energy sources that by 2030 will offset what they use each year.

Utah Renewable Energy

Called the Community Renewable Energy Program, the goal was established in 2019 with passage of HB411, which created a pathway for communities within Rocky Mountain Power’s service area to participate in the program.

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The 10-year plan does not mean that all of the community’s energy will eventually come from renewable sources. Instead, enough renewable electricity will be integrated into the wider grid to match the output of each community in the project.

Christopher Thomas, Salt Lake City’s senior director of energy and climate programs, said the plan is “the first of its kind” in the country.

“We’ve never seen another place where we have a utility that’s owned by a monopoly investor, then working in partnership with a community group to try to support some kind of clean energy,” he said, noting that the project took shape. , the community needs continued support from the Legislature.

“It’s going to be hard – I think that’s one of the reasons we’re doing so much outreach,” he said.

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23 communities that have voted for the right to vote in 2019 are from Utah’s capital, Salt Lake City, to To Castle Valley, a town of about 350 people in the northern part of Moab. The community stretches from the southwest corner to the northern tip of the state, though most are along the Wasatch River.

They produce about 37% of the electricity sold by Rocky Mountain Power. If the goal is met, Thomas said, the project could increase the amount of solar power connected to the company’s grid. Utah is double.

15 communities are moving forward with participation: Salt Lake City, Castle Valley, Grand County, Millcreek, Moab, Park City, Summit County, Alta, Cottonwood Heights, Francis, Holladay, Kearns, Ogden, Salt Lake County and Springdale.

Meanwhile, Bluffdale, Coalville, Emigration Canyon Township, Kamas, Oakley, Orem, West Jordan and West Valley City are still eligible but have not completed their participation.

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The plan is still in development, and how it will affect the bills of low-income communities – even where the renewable energy will come from – remains unclear.

“I’m sure it would make sense. And that’s because renewable energy is the cheapest new energy you can build,” Thomas said, noting that unlike coal or gas, renewable energy projects would be immune from carbon taxes, the current provision. attracted among the members of the Democratic Party Senate.

“Coal may become more expensive because of air pollution,” he said. “We want to be protected from these types of increases in our program.”

The board will vote to approve each plan and 60 days before the first bill of the plan arrives, customers will receive two cancellation notices. For three billing cycles after the plan goes into effect, customers can still opt out, although there may be an exit fee after that.

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The 2019 law also provides for the creation of a low-income program commission “to bring together some best practices, coordinate with community groups and develop a core menu of options that communities can draw on moving forward,” Thomas said. has a far-reaching impact on Utah’s prosperity and quality of life. Energy spending contributes to Utahns’ cost of living and their ability to save money or spend on other needs. Air quality and environmental health are affected by energy production and consumption. If the power supply is unreliable, power outages are more likely to occur and affect businesses and the lives of Utahns. Additionally, energy development and production can provide Utah with more jobs and tax revenue.

When it comes to energy, Utahns want to balance supply diversity, clean sources, higher efficiency and lower costs. Currently, Utah uses natural gas for home and water heating, while most electricity generation comes from coal. However, as electricity generation moves away from coal due to environmental regulations, the use of natural gas will increase. Utahns need to draw from a variety of energy sources, including more renewable energy forms, while using natural gas to provide the base. In addition to Utah’s diverse energy supply, Utahns want to meet future energy needs, improve air quality and save money through energy conservation and greater efficiency in homes and buildings.

Utah is an energy rich state. The country has reserves of natural gas and coal, as well as the potential to produce renewable energy from energy sources. Sun, wind and geothermal heat. Because Utah produces more energy than it consumes, the excess energy is exported. In 2011, 31% of all energy produced in Utah was exported, including 27% of the electricity that Produced in the state. The Utah Office of Energy Development estimates that in 2013, the market value of Utah’s renewable energy sources and electric power was $5.3 billion.

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Most Utah communities are customers of Rocky Mountain Power and receive electricity from power plants in several states. Currently, residential electricity prices in Utah are the lowest in the country at about 10.72 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), compared to 17.05 cents per kilowatt hour in California and 19.46 cents per kilowatt hour in New York. Relatively low energy costs keep household costs low and make the country attractive for business and industry.

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As Utah’s population doubles, its energy needs will be That. Utah may use more natural gas for electricity, space and water heating in homes and commercial buildings, and industrial use. The extent to which we diversify our energy mix and develop alternative resources will affect energy reliability, housing costs, economic development, and of course, the environment.

Today, most of Utah’s electricity comes from coal-fired power plants, but Rocky Mountain Power is increasing its use of other energy sources such as natural gas and renewables such as wind and solar. No new coal-fired power plants were built in Utah last quarter. There are no plans to build new coal plants, and existing plants are planned to be retired or renovated to run on natural gas. Fossil fuel power plants are currently the largest source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States, accounting for 38% of US greenhouse gas emissions in 2013. Natural gas plants produce less CO2 emissions than coal. Plants.

The natural gas industry in Utah is growing, in part because the electricity sector is transitioning away from coal. Utah ranked 10th in the nation for natural gas production in 2012. Of natural gas consumed in Utah in 2013, the residential sector used 35%, power generation 25%, commercial sector used 21%, and industrial used 19%. The price of natural gas in Utah remains low compared to the rest of the country, the average residential natural gas price was $8.55 per thousand cubic meters in 2013.

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Utah has excellent potential for developing energy from a variety of renewable sources, many of which are concentrated in the southern part of the state. Renewable energy sources currently provide a small percentage of the state’s total clean electricity generation – less than 4 percent – but Utah has a voluntary renewable portfolio standard that says by 2025, 20 percent of retail electricity sales must come from efficient renewable energy sources. source of information

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The Utah Office of Energy Development evaluates the state’s potential for nuclear power generation, taking into account factors such as safety, water needs, waste disposal, plant size, rail access, nuclear fuel transportation and public awareness. Utah State University’s Facilities Management has taken another important step forward as a leader in energy and sustainability by signing a 25-year solar contract with the Castle Solar Project near Huntington, Utah. The contract will provide 20 megawatts of solar power to the campus over its lifetime, moving the college toward its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050.

A solar energy contract signed in 2018 makes the U the first public university in the country to get more than half of its electricity from renewable sources. The new solar contract will bring the university to 71% of all electricity from renewable sources.

When delivered, this new contract will rank the University of Utah in total renewable energy fifth among all colleges and universities (behind the University of California, Arizona State University, Columbia University and SUNY Buffalo) as reported by the EPA’s Green Power Partnership. The U’s geothermal contract currently ranks as the largest long-term contract of a college or university under the Green Energy Partnership.

This commitment to clean energy and sustainable investment continues despite the current fiscal concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cost estimates show that this significant move toward renewable energy will come without cost increases. This will allow U to be in charge of the resource without creating an unnecessary burden.

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