By Sarah Lappé, Communications Coordinator
Utah is one of the U.S. states with great potential for solar power, and residents are taking advantage. In 2015, rooftop solar grew by 199 percent, with more than 8,000 homes and businesses with solar. Utah Clean Energy predicts that by October of this year, Utah will have more than 100,000 kilowatts of rooftop solar.
“The recent growth in Utah’s solar market is attributed to our exceptional solar resource, strong solar policy infrastructure, and the falling cost of solar that we’ve seen over the past decade,” explains Clayton Johnson, clean energy project coordinator with Utah Clean Energy.
In addition, the popularity of solar is increasing because solar power is a clean, renewable energy source that is good for the environment and a good long-term investment.
The University of Utah has played a role in supporting the community’s efforts to expand rooftop solar through U Community Solar. This program offers U community members the opportunity to purchase and install discounted rooftop solar panels on their homes. This is the second time that the University has run this program. In round one, 380 homeowners installed a total of 1.8 megawatts of solar panels. The University, in partnership with Utah Clean Energy, launched the current offer in March 2016; it ends this September.
U Community Solar is open to all members of the University community, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, and campus guests from Salt Lake, Summit, and Davis counties. So far, U Community Solar is again a big success. As of July 27, 427 kilowatts have been contracted to be installed. But it is not over yet; you can still participate.
To get started, homeowners first take the online solar survey. Additionally, if you would like to find out more about this program and ask your questions in person, please join us at one of our next workshops:
- Aug. 16 – U Community Solar Workshop @ Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB) Alumni Hall, 5 – 6:30 pm, 26 S. 2000 E., Salt Lake City, UT 84112
- Sept. 14 – U Community Solar Workshop @ Willard Marriott Library Gould Auditorium, 5 –6:30 pm, 295 S. 1500 E., Salt Lake City, UT 84112
U Community Solar is among the University of Utah’s creative and unique solutions for engaging with the greater community and encouraging positive impacts on the environment and society. The program is made possible by the continued support of the Associated Students of the University of Utah, which has generously allocated a portion of student fees to fund the administrative costs of the program. Utah Clean Energy provides day-to-day support and outreach for the program.
For more information visit mycommunitysolar.org.