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Utah embraces trio of renewable energy firsts


Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Ted Wilson of Utah Clean Air Partnership and Cody Stewart, Gov. Gary Herbert’s energy adviser, unveil an electric vehicle charging infrastructure at the Salt Lake County government center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 3, 2014.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah turned a page in the renewable energy handbook this week, embracing a triad of “firsts” that is positioning the state for a future with fewer carbon emissions.

On Thursday, state officials joined Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and the Utah Clean Air Partnership to unveil the state’s first electric fast-charging station for public use along the Wasatch Front.

The direct current charging station has a 480-volt rate that is able to charge in 10 to 40 minutes and is a key step along the way to boosting the infrastructure for electric vehicle owners, McAdams said.

Earlier in the week, Scatec Solar announced plans to start construction later this year on an 80-megawatt solar plant in Iron County — a first in that area. When complete, it will deliver power to PacifiCorp and be the state’s largest commercial solar field.

And Wednesday, Utah Clean Energy was picked by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to operate one of six new regional wind energy resource centers in the nation.

In the case of the local nonprofit advocacy organization, it will operate the Four Corners Wind Resource Center, guiding a consortium of industry, government and other groups to promote development of wind energy resources against a best-practices backdrop.

The hat trick in renewable energy signals a new momentum for some.
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