Municipal leaders joined energy businesses in starting construction on a new solar farm, which will aid in the expanding effort to transition to renewable energy sources in the coming years. The Elektron Solar project, which is an 80-megawatt solar facility northwest of Grantsville located in Tooele County, was ceremonially broken ground by Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Park City Mayor Andy Beerman. The property will be close to a toxic superfund site designated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

The project is being built and will be owned by D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments. The solar farm will “provide cost-effective clean electricity” to Utah’s energy grid, according to Hy Martin, the company’s chief development officer. The plant will be among the largest solar generators linked to Rocky Mountain Power’s Utah grid once it is finished, which is scheduled in 2023. “It’s a fantastic first step in cleaning up the air, water, and dealing with climate change,” Beerman added.

Two of the six customers who have invested in the initiative are Park City and Salt Lake City. According to Rocky Mountain Power, Park City Mountain Resorts, Summit County, Deer Valley, as well as Utah Valley University, all invested in the project. However, the solar farm is a significant step forward for both Salt Lake City and Park City, who both want to transition to sustainable energy in the near future. Mendenhall stated that the solar facility will assist Utah’s capital city in reaching its target.

“This is the most significant step forward in Salt Lake City’s heritage toward achieving all of our goals of 100 percent net renewable energy,” she added. According to local officials, the solar farm will provide close to 90 percent of the yearly electricity requirement for the city’s structures. Libraries, public utility facilities, police stations, city hall, as well as the Salt Lake City International Airport are among these locations. Park City hopes to achieve this for the buildings next year before the solar farm begins operations.

The mayors of both cities claim the solar farm will help them achieve their goal of switching 100 percent of their community’s entire energy demands to renewable sources by the year 2030. Park City’s path, according to Beerman, began in 2005, when climate activists warned of a catastrophic future for the city due to climate change’s danger to the state’s snowpack. Experts warned Park City authorities that the renewable energy objectives they sought to establish were “impossible” at the time, but the city went ahead and set them nonetheless.

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