Utah Getting Its Largest Solar Project Yet

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Scatec Solar receives final approvals to build the Utah Red Hills Renewable Energy Park, an 80 MW solar park in Iron County, Utah. This will be Utah’s largest solar energy generation facility.

 

It’s no joke. On April 1, the Utah Public Service Commission and Iron County Community Development and Renewal Agency granted the final approvals for Scatec Solar to build the Utah Red Hills Renewable Energy Park. 

In the fall of 2014, construction will begin on this project in Iron County, Utah. The 80 MW solar park will generate around 210 million kW hours of electricity per year. 

The ground-mounted PV solar facility will be developed on approximately 650 acres of privately owned land in Parowan, Utah. It will deploy approximately 325,000 PV modules on a single-axis tracking system, and will interconnect to an existing PacifiCorp 138 kV line in the adjacent Parowan Valley Substation. When complete, the park will be Utah’s largest solar energy generation facility. 

Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar, stated, “We are very proud to move into the next stage of development for the Utah Red Hills Renewable Energy Park. With our experience gained from PV projects around the world, our team is well prepared to take on the challenges associated with realizing this large-scale solar power plant — and we are grateful for the opportunity to bring our expertise to this first utility-scale PV project in Utah.

In December 2013, Scatec Solar entered into a twenty-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with PacifiCorp for the purchase of all of the project’s energy output and capacity. PacifiCorp delivers electricity to customers in UtahWyoming, and Idaho through Rocky Mountain Power.

“Energy development is one of Utah’s four cornerstones to continue to strengthen our economy,” said Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert. “By supporting projects like the Red Hills Renewable Energy Park and other utility-scale renewable energy facilities, Utah will remain a premier destination for business, jobs, and an enviable quality of life for our residents.”

The plant is expected to generate approximately 210 million kWh in its first full year of operation, enough energy to power approximately 18,500 homes. Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, it will produce enough renewable power to prevent nearly 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually — the equivalent to removing nearly 28,000 cars from Utah’s roads each year of the 20-year agreement.