BUSINESS + ECONOMY

SLC announces grant to help businesses adopt solar power

Feb 13, 2024, 2:00 PM

Solar panels that have been installed on an apartment complex in Cottonwood Heights on Wednesday, J...

Solar panels that have been installed on an apartment complex in Cottonwood Heights on Wednesday, July 12, 2023. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Sustainability Department has partnered with Utah Clean Energy to help locally-owned businesses install solar power in their buildings.

According to a press release, the organizations will grant funds to between two and four small or medium-sized local businesses. 

Salt Lake Solar Powered Communities is the project supplying the funding.

The press release said that the program is aimed at making solar power more available to areas with fewer resources. 

An emphasis is placed on getting resources to businesses that are owned by or serve people of color. 

Jennifer Eden, Utah Clean Energy’s project lead, said that the goal was to increase solar accessibility. However, the initiative has also helped the organization understand the challenges of solar power. 

“Throughout the past year, we have convened business partners on the Westside for in-depth discussions, and through that process, we were able to better understand community members’ priorities, concerns, and goals, while building trusting relationships with these businesses,” said Eden. 

Grant applications are open until March 9. Interested businesses can learn more about the requirements on the application website. 

Bringing solar power to local businesses

According to the press release, the project is part of a larger effort. Solar Energy Innovation Network is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies office. 

The Department of Energy said that SEIN is a collaborative program.

It arrived in Salt Lake City in 2022 when listening sessions began to be hosted by Utah Clean Energy, per the press release. 

In 2023, Utah Clean Energy worked with three local businesses to bring solar to their buildings. The press release listed M&K Automotive, Rico Brands and the Salt Lake Barber Company/Culture Coffee as participants. 

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall expressed excitement for the program.

“When every penny counts, small business owners benefit from solar technology by saving money on their power bills right away while also reducing pollution in our neighborhoods,” Mendenhall said.

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SLC announces grant to help businesses adopt solar power