Last month, Energy Capital Group, LLC (ECG) announced that it will develop Utah Solar 1, a 300 megawatt solar plant. This will be, by far, the largest solar project in Utah - as well as one of the largest in the U.S.
The recently announced project will be built on 1,754 acres - land that is being leased from the Utah School and Institutional Trust Land Administration (SITLA). This project closely resembles projects in Arizona, which are being built on state trust lands. As in Arizona, the funds collected from the leasing of the land will go to the state’s education system.
“The project will create approximately 200 construction jobs, power an estimated 80,000 homes, generate substantial tax revenue for local & state government, will benefit Utah’s K-12 grade school children through lease payments to SITLA and provide clean affordable energy,” a spokesperson from Energy Capital said.
“We are excited about the opportunity to develop ECG Utah Solar 1 in Utah which will benefit several groups including the Utah school children, Millard County’s economy, Utah’s economy and the California utilities in their achieving the state RPS,” added Josh Case, who is the CEO of Energy Capital. “The ECG team has made great strides to date and we are reaching more project milestones at a rapid pace. The support from SITLA, Millard County, the State of Utah and other organizations in this whole process has been very much appreciated and we see this as a huge win for all parties involved.”
The $600 million solar farm will be adjacent to the Intermountain Power Plant (IPP), according to ECG. The location is ideal, as the infrastructure includes an HVDC transmission line going directly to California. ECG and the organizations it’s working with have alreaday conducted the required biological study and cultural survey. The project has entered the interconnection queue and presently, ECG is working with Millard County on the conditional use permit, as well as tackling the Utah Alternative Energy Development Incentive application process.
At this point, the company has not entered into a power-purchase agreement for the power that the project will produce. It's important to note, however, that the transmission line provides power to Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and ECG is working with former LADWP engineer Victor Rojas and now President of Power-Tech Engineers, Inc. (PTEI) on the project.
“ECG Utah Solar 1 will help California utilities achieve the state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) of 33 percent by 2020 as the IPP substation is part of LADWP transmission system and LADWP is a California Balancing Authority,” Rojas stated. “This project will qualify as SBX Bucket 1 which 75% of renewables are required to come from to meet the RPS and is a great fit for both California and Utah.”
ECG will announce the module supplier for the project after it secures a power-purchase agreement.