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The University of Utah’s Latest Gem Sparkles Brightly

Published: 04/19/2012

From UtahBusiness.com, April 19, 2012

The Natural History Museum of Utah's rooftop was buzzing with excitement as a ribbon-cutting took place on April 16, 2012, celebrating the completed, grandiose renewable energy solar photovoltaic project on the sky terrace of the museum and HPER East buildings. It is one of the largest new solar power electricity generations systems in Utah to-date. The solar power totals to 592.8 kilowatts and the combined arrays consist of 2,470 Sharp photovoltaic panels, covering 40,000 square feet of rooftop space. Together they will produce 802,240 kilowatt hours.

"We are thrilled to be a part of this project. It is the one of the largest projects our office has been a part of in the past two and a half years," said Samantha Julian, State of Utah director of the Office of Energy Development.

She also made a few comments on what she felt was unique about the project. "This project really pushes forward Governor Herbert's 10-year energy strategic plan... the labor, expertise, and design was brought forth by local Utahns. The panels were even manufactured here in the United States. It is very rare that solar panels are manufactured anywhere else than Asia."

The energy system provides two decades of low-rate, free purchase of solar power, saving the university 75 cents per dollar over the next 20 years.

"This is monumental. It is an energy-efficiency system that parallels to none. It was a true collaboration with all of the partners, including the U.S. Department of Energy, the University of Utah, the Natural History Museum of Utah, McCalmont Engineering, sPower, BacGen Solar Group, Okland Construction, Hunt Electric and Rocky Mountain Power," said Julian.

Rocky Mountain Power's Customer and Community Manager Dave Spalding said that The Natural History Museum of Utah is one of the finest examples of public outreach and education that he has ever seen, especially for the fact that the museum's visitors will be educated on renewable energy and solar panels while visiting.

"When you think about the amount of impact this has on the environment, it is exciting. It is equivalent to over 28,000 trees. This is the largest Power Purchase Agreement solar project that has been brought to the state of Utah," said Ryan Creamer, CEO of sPower.

The University of Utah's goal is to become environmentally-friendly and carbon neutral by 2050. As a local company, Hunt Electric was excited to be a part of this environmental contribution to the community of Salt Lake City, helping provide a sustainable future for the up and coming generations.

Hunt Electric has been doing business in the Intermountain Area for more than 26 years. The company offers a multitude of services outside of traditional electrical. These include Building Information Modeling (BIM), Traffic and Infrastructure, Design-Build and Engineering, Renewable Energy, Information Transport Systems (I.T.S) and Preventative Maintenance and Service. For more information on Hunt Electric, please visit http://www.huntelectric.com/. If you are an architect, general contractor or owner, and interested in becoming more acquainted with Renewable Energy information, such as solar photovoltaic panels on your building, you are invited to attend one of the solar photovoltaic courses that are being offered. Please see www.HuntElectric.com/training.

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