Rocky Mountain Power celebrates 200th completed Blue Sky program project
The Taylorsville State Office Building now has a 224-panel solar installation that feeds power to the 420,000-square-foot structure
Launched at the turn of the century, Rocky Mountain Power's renewable energy-focused Blue Sky program on Monday celebrated its 200th completed project.
The Taylorsville State Office Building — home to numerous state agencies — can now call itself home to a 224-panel solar installation that feeds the 420,000-square-foot building while also producing energy for 16 electric vehicle charging stations.
The latest installation is the fifth renewable energy project undertaken by the Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management.
Others include installations at the Multi-Agency State Office Building, Weber State University, Utah Department of Transportation and the University of Utah.
“The state government has a goal of installing clean energy, but it’s difficult. It's a hard thing to do, you know, because it costs a lot and as a state government, we don't have a ton of money,” said Jeff Wrigley, project manager with the Utah Division of Facilities Construction and Management, who helped build the installation.
“When we have a surplus and we're able to reach out (to Rocky Mountain Power) and get that help, it's a fantastic thing,” Wrigley said
The division was awarded a $150,000 grant from the Blue Sky program and the location for the installation — a parking lot slightly north of the Taylorsville State Office Building — was chosen for the project based on its "high-profile location, major renovation status, and solar panel placement convenience in its unobstructed parking area," according to a release.
Tom Mills, a technical solar salesman with Creative Energies Solar — the solar installation company selected for the project — said the south-facing orientation of the solar panels will allow for more energy to be harnessed from those panels.
The installation is estimated to generate 129,680 kilowatt-hours annually.
“For 23 years, our customers have come together to support renewable energy and our communities through this Blue Sky program and it's remarkable to see the tremendous difference that their support has made,” said Debbie Hodrick, regional business manager for Rocky Mountain Power.
Today, we celebrated the completion of a 106.56 kW solar project at the Taylorsville State Office Building. The installation was made possible by a @RMP_Utah BlueSky grant. Fourth graders participated in experiential learning activities at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. #thankyou pic.twitter.com/0yWWKGot1B— Utah Department of Government Operations (@UtahGovOps) April 24, 2023
The program allows customers to match their energy usage with the purchase of renewable energy credits, allowing them an avenue to invest in community-based renewable energy projects (like this one) in states where Rocky Mountain Power operates.
In Utah alone, Hodrick said the Blue Sky program has over 50,000 residential participants, translating to over 220 million kWh of renewable energy purchased every year.
“That is the equivalent environmental impact of greenhouse gas reduction of removing 21,000 vehicles off the road every year,” Hodrick said.
Wrigley said the latest installation represents an effort by the state to pursue more renewable energy ventures with the help of the Blue Sky program.
“When opportunities arise and we're able to partner up and do this, we keep adding one at a time,” Wrigley said. “Over the last 15 years, it’s summed up to well over a megawatt of electrical production capacity and kind of spread throughout the whole state.”