With the cost of utilities rising more homeowners are considering converting to solar to get free energy from the sun and even store some for emergencies. There are a bazillion companies out there looking to get your hard earned dollar to install their brand of solar products, some better than others.
Solar energy collection isn’t new to Utah. At 3 MW, the Buckhorn Solar Plant in Paragona is one of the newest solar installations in Utah. It has the capability to power more than 589 homes. The Utah Red Hills Renewable Energy Park was completed in 2016. This photovoltaic project has the capacity to generate enough power to feed over 20,419 homes. Best of all, several large retailers have gone solar, including IKEA, Patagonia and Uinta Brewing Company. Our neighbor, California, has by far the greatest installed capacity of solar photovoltaic power in the U.S.
The big news for our state is that a Utah company is partnering with PacifiCorp to build the state’s biggest solar ‘farm’ with a battery storage facility smack dab in the middle of coal country! Utah’s largest farm will sit on about 3,200 acres by the tiny city of Moore in Emery County-just south of Castle Dale and Huntington. What will be known as ‘The Green River Energy Center’, the project will generate 400 megawatts from the farm and 200 megawatts from the battery storage facility. The area was chosen mainly because it’s by major transmission lines from the coal /power plants nearby and the amount of sunshine the area gets.
Unfortunately Emery County’s Lila Canyon coal mine caught fire on Sept. 20th, 2022 and experts say the flames could smolder indefinitely, which would close the mine forever. The owners will try and drill and flood the mine with water and foam because the Fed’s won’t let anyone go down into the mine while it’s on fire. This sucks for Rocky Mountain Power, as the two largest power plants in Emery County have now lost access to one of their biggest coal suppliers. The high quality of Utah’s coal is highly desirable not just in Utah but is shipped around the world. The best quality coal is found in Wyoming-the nation’s leading coal producer since 1986. Our neighbors provide @40% of the country’s coal through the top 10 mines in the cowboy country of Powder River Basin. They too are developing solar alternatives, as Wyoming now has it’s first solar project, “Sweetwater”, in Green Giver, Wyoming. It’s expected to generate enough clean energy to power 12,000 homes per year.
If you want to get more information on solar company/providers: https://www.energysage.com/local-data/solar-companies/ut/?rc=seia
This website is a gem of information, from the history of solar policies in Utah to state government energy programs, energy-saving strategies, the State Solar Policy, solar installers and solar companies, energy statistics, solar incentives and rebates and up-to-date pricing information. You can actually search other states in the same website. Do be careful in researching solar options-there are unfortunately many scammer’s greedy for your money!