New solar farm in Tooele County will soon power cities and ski resorts

Apr 23, 2024, 6:23 PM | Updated: Apr 24, 2024, 3:35 pm

ROWLEY, Tooele County A new solar farm in Rowley will soon power cities and ski resorts in northern Utah.  

The Elektron Solar Project will provide renewable energy to Summit County, Salt Lake City, Park City, Park City Mountain, Deer Valley Ski Resort and Utah Valley University. 

“When the opportunity came for us to be able to participate with Elektron and take our campus energy usage to 92% green, we just felt like it was a great opportunity to make UVU, which is a green campus, even greener,” said Val Peterson, UVU’s vice president for administration and strategic relations. 

An 80-megawatt solar farm several miles away in Tooele County will soon provide the majority of UVU’s power to campus.  

The Elektron Solar Project sits northwest of Grantsville. It’s owned and operated by D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments and will be connected to Rocky Mountain Power’s Utah grid. 

“It just makes our campus greener and more carbon neutral,” Peterson said. 

New solar farm will help achieve a goal

UVU has a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050. It’s a goal they said they can meet with the renewable energy coming from Elektron. 

“With this project, it’ll be about the equivalent of taking 886 cars off the road,” Peterson said. 

UVU will pay a higher rate due to the costs of construction and green energy. Peterson said, with energy usage down in other parts of campus, they said they’ll end up saving money. 

“It turns into about $250,000 a year savings in the end,” he said. “So even though the energy costs a little more, as we become more efficient, the campus is actually saving money through participating.” 

They hope to cut costs, and not corners by using the solar plant. 

“We actually were one of the first to start out on energy-saving projects for the state of Utah,” Peterson said. “I think it’s just really something that’s been part of our history, part of our DNA, to explore ways that we can continue to reduce our energy usage while being more green.” 

The solar project was set to be completed last year. With delays, it’s now expected to be up and running later this month or in May, according to Salt Lake City’s Sustainability Department. 

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New solar farm in Tooele County will soon power cities and ski resorts