Salt Lake City officials flipped the “on” switch Wednesday celebrating the completion of three large solar projects to power city buildings. 1.7 million kilowatts of electricity annually will come from the solar farm connected to the Public Safety Building, and the city’s operation center at Plaza 349. Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker says Utah’s energy codes are 30 percent less efficient than federal standards and he says leaders at the state level need raise those standards.
“We’re working in Salt Lake City to reduce our impact and solar energy is an important part of that puzzle," says Becker. "We have found that solar energy in our region and in our community is the most efficient way for us right now to be taking advantage of renewable energy sources.”
Vicki Bennett is the city’s sustainability director. She says four years ago solar powered city buildings were just a dream.
“I mean we had so many people working on ideas and how do we make this happen. So to turn around and see it here is just thrilling to me,” says Bennett.
She says the 4,000 new photo voltaic panels come with a 25-year power output warranty and have an expected life of up to 40 years.