Why is Utah the Perfect Place for Solar?

Utah's technical potential for roof-top solar PV is approximately 5 Gigawatts (GW), or 5,000 Megawatts (MW), which could produce 7 million megawatt hours of electricty per year (MWh/yr) - enough to power over 720,000 Utah homes for a year.2 This is approximately the generating capacity of 10 coal fired turbine generator units like those in Carbondale or Huntington, Utah, and over six times the generation of a coal-fired unit in Delta, Utah.

Utah has geographic, climatic and economic advantages over all but a few other states, including:

  • ample sunshine (241 sunny days per year),
  • high altitude (less air mass to absorb energy between us and the sun),
  • relatively cool days (cooler year round than most sunshiny states, increasing photovoltaic efficiency),
  • relatively low snow accumulation (accounting for at most 3% production loss), and
  • high daytime air conditioning peak load (offset by solar's high daytime production peak)

Utah also enjoys many government and utility policy benefits (in addition to the 30% Federal tax credit):

  • 25% personal income tax credit, which reduces your tax bill by 25%,
  • 10% corporate income tax credit, and
  • an attractive Net Metering program; Rocky Mountain Power customers can "bank" their excess generation at full value for consumption at night or on snowy days.
Utah Applied Solar Energy, LLC  2015