Salt Lake City installs over 750 new solar panels on 7 city buildings

SALT LAKE CITY — Seven Salt Lake City buildings, including five fire stations, have newly-installed solar panels thanks to a $500,000 city investment, Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced Thursday.

The new installations double the total number of Salt Lake City’s municipal facilities with solar energy to 14 and are part of the city’s goal to reach 100 percent renewable energy for community electricity supply by 2032.

“Salt Lake City is committed to powering our government operations, and ultimately the whole community, with 100 percent renewable energy,” Biskupski said in a prepared statement. “This latest round of projects puts solar panels in seven distinct parts of the city, increasing access and visibility to the transition to clean energy that is underway.”

The buildings include the Regional Athletic Complex, 2350 Rose Park Lane, the Pioneer Park Police Precinct, 1040 W. 700 South; and these five fire stations: Fire Station 1, 211 S. 500 East; Fire Station 4, 830 E 11th Avenue; Fire Station 7, 273 N. 1000 West; Fire Station 10, 785 Arapeen Drive (2250 East); and Fire Station 13, 2360 E. Parleys Way (2150 South).

“Of course, the Salt Lake City Fire Department is committed to making an impact on emergency scenes and in crisis situations, but our team is also committed to promoting the environmental sustainability goals of our city and community,” Salt Lake Fire Chief Karl Lieb said in a statement. “We work tirelessly to make positive impacts for people today — every day — and we want to consider future generations as well.”

In total, 756 solar panels were installed, at a total cost of about $500,000 for all seven sites and will be paid back in utility savings within the warranty lifetime of the solar panels, city officials said.

The panels will generate about 320,000-kilowatt hours each year — the same amount of electricity that would require burning about 350,000 pounds of coal each year, city officials said. Over their 25-year warrantied life, the panels’ total amount of solar electricity generation will be equal to burning more than 8 million pounds of coal, city officials said.

“Rooftop solar has been growing at a roughly exponential rate in the Salt Lake City community since 2010,” said Tyler Poulson, program manager of the city’s sustainability department. “This means we’ve seen an annual doubling in the total amount of solar installed in Salt Lake City limits in recent years and we now believe there are over 60,000 solar panels installed within our community.

“Renewable energy continues to become more cost effective for everyone,” Poulson continued. “We are confident that a 100 percent renewable electricity target can be achieved for Salt Lake City.”

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