SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

New program aims to use renewable energy to power Utah communities by 2030

Jul 31, 2023, 5:48 PM | Updated: 5:56 pm

New renewable energy project...

A new program is aiming to get Salt Lake City and other communities across Utah powered using renewable energy by 2030. Crews respond Monday, Aug. 5, 2013 to power lines down in the area of 8200 South and State Route 111. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new program is aiming to get Salt Lake City and other communities across Utah powered using renewable energy by 2030.

Utah Renewable Communities is a state-wide project partnering with Rocky Mountain Power.

“Salt Lake City adopted a goal, and it’s basically to match the electricity we use every year with renewable energy by 2030,” says Christopher Thomas, a sustainability manager for Salt Lake City.

Utah Renewable Communities aims to power 18 communities in Utah. Along with this, according to Thomas, it can have a wide range of benefits.

“I think if there are project opportunities in Utah that can bring positive economic development and jobs that are wanted, I think there’s a really good opportunity for that,” Thomas says.

Thomas says any new source of power needs to be cost effective.

“We realize this program is only going to meet our climate goals if it’s as big as possible,” he says. “And what that means is it’s got to be really affordable.”

The project hinges on user cost efficiency, according to Thomas.

“We want this program to operate just through everybody’s Rocky Mountain Power bill that they’ve already paid,” he says. “Our preliminary estimate is that it will cost an extra $2 to $7 per month for the average household.”

Thomas hopes the project can shift into high gear next year.

Devin Oldroyd contributed to this story.

Related: Utah State University to help develop battery-powered train

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New program aims to use renewable energy to power Utah communities by 2030