PARK CITY, Utah. — On Earth Day next year, Park City Municipal, Summit County, Salt Lake City, our two ski resorts, and Utah Valley University will all be poised to “flip the switch” from coal-fired to 100% renewable electricity. These six organizations, acting in concert, persuaded Rocky Mountain Power and the Utah Legislature to help us to accelerate our transition away from dirty energy.
As we speak, construction is underway on an 80MW Elektron solar farm, one of the largest solar arrays in Rocky Mountain Power’s grid. This is the first giant step on our path to a Net Zero Community by 2030, especially given that Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort—the two biggest power consumers in the city—were willing to pioneer this effort with us.
So while it may be premature to celebrate the switch, what we can celebrate on this Earth Day are the 20 other Utah communities—over a quarter of Utah’s population—emboldened by our example, who also resolved to achieve Net Zero by 2030. We can celebrate the fact that this project was strategically located on SITLA land, so it provides ongoing revenue to fund schools across the state. Education, powered by the sun!
Not only is our red state “going green,” but other states, cities, and utilities are looking to copy and scale the program across the West. So, on this Earth Day I’m inclined to celebrate this community’s huge heart and fearlessness, its willingness to be the change it wants to see.