Rocky Mountain Power broke ground on its new 20-megawatt solar power plant in Holden, Utah on Thursday.
The solar power plant is part of Rocky Mountain Power’s new Subscriber Solar program. The program will allow customers to purchase energy produced by the new plant in 200-killowatt-hour blocks. Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Paul Murphy says the company thinks this will appeal to people who can’t afford or aren’t able to put solar panels of their own up where they live.
“You have renters, you have condos, you have houses that just are just in a good location for rooftop solar," Murphy says. "So, this is an opportunity for every Rocky Mountain Power customer to get solar and its an opportunity they didn’t have before.”
Murphy says if the program is successful, they have plans to build several more solar power plants.
Matt Pacenza is the executive director of the clean energy advocacy group HEAL Utah. He says while groups like his are often critical of Rocky Mountain Power, he thinks this program is a step in the right direction.
“I think it would be great for example if this program effectively sold out as soon as it were available because I think it would show the utility and decision makers in Utah that there’s enormous pent-up demand for ways in which to support renewable energy,” Pacenza says.
Business customers can begin reserving blocks of power on May 9, while residential customers can begin on June 21. The plant is scheduled to begin producing power for the grid on January 1st, 2017.