The Energy Capital Group based in Provo is trying to negotiate power purchasing agreements for a 300 MW solar power project planned for construction in Millard County, near Delta. If completed, it would be Utah’s largest solar power facility by far.
Over 1,700 acres of land have already been identified for the construction site and a lease was obtained in May. If construction begins, an estimated 200 jobs would be created. It was reported that the plant could power about 80,000 homes. Some power might also be sent to California via at direct-current line connected from the Intermountain Power Plant at Delta. The proposed plant could be up and running in two to three years.
Such a large project would be quite a leap forward for Utah, where current solar power production is low. The $600 million project will aid residents of Utah and California, “ECG Utah Solar 1 will help California utilities achieve the state renewable portfolio standard of 33 percent by 2020 as the IPP substation is part of [the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP)] transmission system, and LADWP is a California balancing authority,” explained Power Tech Engineers President Victor M. Rojas. (Source: Solar Industry Mag)
Utah has one of the top solar power potentials of all the states in America. It also has vast amounts of open space that may be suitable for large photovoltaic installations. Currently, Utah’s solar power production is quite limited, but the completion of a huge new plant would certainly be a great accomplishment. It would surely also nudge the state firmly in the direction of further developing its very abundant sunshine for more solar power.
Geothermal, with 48 MW, far outpaces solar power there which is only at single digits MW capacity. Wind power potential can also be developed more in Utah, so it truly could become a tremendous generator of clean power. With a combination of solar, wind and geothermal, Utah could become a net exporter of power to California and still cover much, if not all of its own energy needs.
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