University of Utah Commits to 50% Renewable Electricity from Solar & Geothermal

World | Renewable Energy

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The University of Utah has announced Tuesday that it intends to reduce its total carbon emissions by 25% by sourcing 50% of its electricity needs from solar PV and geothermal energy sources.

Announced on Tuesday, this week the University of Utah revealed that it has signed the largest long-term green power contract of any American university (according to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership rankings) which will see the University source 50% of its electricity from solar and geothermal energy sources in a bid to reduce its emissions by 25%.

Specifically, the University of Utah has signed an agreement with Cyrq Energy, a Utah company based in Salt Lake City, and Berkshire Hathaway Energy Renewables (BHER), to provide 20 MW (megawatts) of geothermal energy and 10 MW of solar energy for a period of 25 years. Rocky Mountain Power will act to facilitate the purchase and delivery through green tariffs.

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to bring more renewable resources to the grid in Utah and are truly grateful for the shared efforts of our partners, Cyrq, BHER and Rocky Mountain Power,” said Amy Wildermuth, University of Utah chief sustainability officer. “Not only are geothermal and solar energy key components in the diverse array of energy sources in our state, the university has substantial and continuing research efforts in both areas. To be part of a project like this demonstrates the practicality and affordability of these carbon-free energy sources, which we hope can serve as a model for others.”

This is just the latest move by the University of Utah to meet the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, signed in 2008, which will see the University reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The University has already implemented various energy efficiency measures and on-site energy generation through rooftop and parking solar.