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Millcreek Journal

Millcreek matches grant for solar panels on city hall

Nov 01, 2022 08:13PM ● By Sara Milano

By Sara Milano [email protected]

At the Oct. 10 Millcreek City Council meeting, councilmembers voted to accept funding from Rocky Mountain Power that requires a 22.7% match from the city’s general fund. The funding comes from Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky program, which partners with residents, businesses and municipalities “to support renewable energy and environmental stewardship in their communities and throughout the West,” according to the program website.

The agreement will function essentially as a grant to provide solar panels for the roof of the new Millcreek City Hall upon its construction. The Blue Sky grant is for $465,000 and requires a 22.7% match amounting to about $105,000 from the city of Millcreek. Mayor Jeff Silvestrini described the grant as “a really convenient way to be environmentally sustainable” and reduce electricity costs at the new city hall.

Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky Program began in 2000 and allows customers to select the amount of renewable energy they want to support by paying extra on their monthly bill. These monthly contributions start at $1.95 and go toward the purchase of renewable energy credits or funding for community based renewable energy projects. The Blue Sky Program has over 135,000 participants across three states, including 50,000 participants in Utah.

The grant and subsequent match will be “a vehicle by which we put solar panels on city hall at basically…23% of the cost,” Silvestrini explained, resulting in significant savings for the taxpayer. Councilman Thom DeSirant asked the mayor if this grant would cover the cost of a battery to store power, as well. The mayor confirmed that it did, and that the battery will store any power generated by the panels in excess of the city’s needs.

The acceptance of this funding is the latest in a series of efforts by the Millcreek City Council to make the new city hall building environmentally conscious, including installing electric vehicle charging stations and supporting a sustainable design for the building.