October 19, 2021
Salt Lake City celebrated a huge milestone in its goal of sourcing nearly 100 percent of municipal electricity from clean energy sources by joining partners in breaking ground on an 80 megawatt Solar Farm Tuesday morning.
Mayor Erin Mendenhall joined Rocky Mountain Power; renewable energy developers D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) and Enyo Renewable Energy; Swinerton Renewable Energy; and five other large customers to officially break ground on the 80 Megawatt (MWac) solar farm in Tooele County known as the Elektron Solar project.
“Today we celebrate one of Utah’s most significant renewable energy collaborations,” said Mayor Mendenhall. “Not only will it be among the largest solar farms connected to Rocky Mountain Power’s Utah grid, it’s unique because of all of the partners that came together to make this happen.”
The Elektron Solar project is the result of collaboration between six customers that aggregated their demand for renewable energy into a Request for Proposals (RFP) hosted by Rocky Mountain Power for a large solar farm.
Elektron Solar was selected through the RFP process, and the Public Service Commission approved Rocky Mountain Power’s application last year. The application made use of the Schedule 34 Renewable Energy Tariff, allowing large customers of Rocky Mountain Power to work through the utility to source renewable energy to meet the organizations’ clean energy goals.
The six customers include three local governments (Salt Lake City, Park City, and Summit County), one higher-education institution (Utah Valley University), and two ski resorts (Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain).
Each customer has an aggressive clean energy goal that will be met through the project.
“DESRI is pleased to support Salt Lake City and other power customers in Utah as they grow their clean energy portfolios,” said Hy Martin, DESRI’s chief development officer. “These groups are building Utah’s renewable energy future though their catalyzing investment in this project.”
The Elektron Solar project is owned and will be constructed by DESRI, building on a successful collaboration between DESRI and Enyo Renewable Energy (ERE), a Utah-based renewable energy developer that is now responsible for more than 275 MWac of new customer-driven solar capacity being constructed in 2021 and 2022 in northern Utah. The project was originally developed and permitted by ERE, a joint venture among affiliates of Enyo, LLC and Eolian, L.P., LLC. The Elektron Solar project is anticipated to support approximately 100 construction jobs and will be an ongoing source of revenue to both Tooele County as well as the State of Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, which owns the land on which the project is sited.
Swinerton Renewable Energy is serving as the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor on the project.
“Enyo Renewable Energy was formed to create renewable energy projects that will lead the transformation of the Utah energy landscape by providing consumers with the local renewable energy sources they increasingly demand while providing substantial economic benefits to communities throughout the region,” said Christine Mikell, Founder and CEO of Enyo Renewable Energy, a Utah based renewable energy development company. “We are delighted to have worked closely with Tooele County, SITLA, Salt Lake City, Park City, Summit County, Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain and Utah Valley University to ensure that the Elektron Solar Project would be a success for all involved.”
When constructed, the 80-MWac solar project will be among the largest solar generators connected to the Rocky Mountain Power system. The larger facility size will enable customers to meet a significant portion of their demand with the project’s production at a very competitive price.
Salt Lake City Corporation expects to source the majority of its annual electricity from the project beginning in 2023 while seeing the electric bill for City operations increase by less than 2 percent.
For more information, see the press release that went out when the project was approved by the Public Service Commission in November 2020.
About D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments
D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) and its affiliates develop, acquire, own, and operate long-term contracted renewable energy assets in the U.S. DESRI’s portfolio of operating and in-construction renewable energy projects currently includes over 50 solar and wind projects that represent over 6 GW of aggregate capacity. DESRI is a member of the D. E. Shaw group, a global investment and technology development firm with more than $60 billion in investment and committed capital as of September 1, 2021, and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Please visit www.desri.com for more information about DESRI.