The groundbreaking for Salt Lake City’s new solar farm took place on Tuesday, November 26. The solar farm is part of a “net zero” goal for the new Public Safety building and will produce about one megawatt of power and cost $3 million.
Net Zero is a term used when a building produces as much energy as it uses. The Public Safety building itself will incorporate green architecture and solar panels on the roof.
“The solar farm is a first in Salt Lake City,” said Mayor Ralph Becker. “We are utilizing a historical landfill — space that cannot be used for traditional development — to harness renewable energy and offset the energy use at the Public Safety building.”
The solar farm will consist of 3,000 panels on about four acres around 1995 West 500 South. Vicki Bennet, Salt Lake City’s Director of Sustainability, says that the farm will pay for itself in ten years. At the groundbreaking, she and City Councilwoman Jill Remington Love encouraged residents to consider solar panels for their homes.
Renewable energy has been a hot topic lately due to the scientific discussion about global warming. The reduction of carbon emissions is one of many proposed solutions and the solar farm will save 1,036 tons of carbon emissions.
In the United States, solar panel installations have increased from 142 photovoltaic megawatts installed in the first quarter of 2010 to 832 installed in the second quarter of 2013. That is 585% increase.