August 7, 2012
Salt Lake County Solar Facilities, a New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) project of NDC’s HEDC New Markets, Inc., was honored by the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) with its Excellence in Energy Finance Award.
The CDFA Excellence in Development Finance Awards recognize outstanding development finance programs, agencies, leaders, projects and success stories. These awards honor excellence in the use of financing tools for economic development, as well as the individuals who champion these efforts.
The Salt Lake County Solar Facilities, installed on the roof of the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, is the largest solar installation in the state of Utah – nearly doubling the state’s current solar capacity – and one of the largest roof-top solar installations in the United States. The 1.65 megawatt photovoltaic rooftop solar array – the size of five football fields – is expected to provide the convention center with up to 17 percent of its energy from the sun. Savings to the county over the 25 to 35 year useful life of the system is expected to be $8.5 million. As a result of the clean solar energy system, an estimated 86 million pounds of CO2 will be avoided, and over 26 million gallons of water used in association with coal-fired electricity will be saved. The project could not have gone forward without NMTC, as costs exceeded funds available. NDC’s HEDC-New Markets has made the equity investment happen
The Salt Lake County Solar Project is one of the largest solar projects to be funded by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. The size and scale of this project will create major opportunities for public education about the benefits of renewable energy to a nationwide audience. Salt Lake County has taken steps to cement the educational opportunities on-site with an appropriation to design and build a viewing platform for visitors, students and members of the public to witness the power generation of a rooftop solar array.