By - Jim Vess

Municipal power agency to buy electricity from $80 million solar farm in rural Utah

Energize Weekly, October 9, 2019

Utah Municipal Power Agency (UMPA) has entered into an agreement with Salt Lake City-based sPower for the development of an $80 million solar facility in rural Juab County.

The 80-megawatt (MW) Clover Creek Solar project will be located on a 560-acre site on the west side of Mona Reservoir about 70 miles south of Salt Lake City. sPower will own and operate the facility.

UMPA, created in 1980, provides power to six cities: Levan, Manti, Nephi, Provo, Salem and Spanish Fork.

“For the past several years, we have been working on replacing a coal-fired contract that soon will expire,” Spanish Fork Mayor and UMPA board member Steven Leifson said in a statement. “We are pleased to be able to partner with sPower, a Utah based company, and secure a long-term contract for clean renewable energy at a low cost which will serve our communities well into the future.” 

It will take an estimated four to six months to build Clover Creek Solar, employing an estimated 300 construction workers. UMPA said that while the construction time is limited, the project still represents a “significant capital expenditure in the county.”

sPower operates more than 1,650 MW of wind and solar generation at facilities across the U.S. and owns and operates more than 155 utility and commercial distribution electrical-generation systems. Clover Creek Solar will be the company’s first utility-scale project developed in its home state.

Utah has a good solar resource and almost 800 MWs of solar built in the last five years in rural Utah.

“Since becoming mayor, we have been pushing for adding more renewable sources to Provo’s electricity mix,” Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi said in a statement. “Provo has been very active in reducing its carbon footprint based on the efforts of Provo’s Sustainability Committee and our energy efficiency programs.”

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