The Salt Palace Convention Center will be home to the nation’s largest array of rooftop solar panels by January 2011, according to Scott Beck, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. The 600,000-square-foot area will contain11,319 solar panels more than doubling the current solar capacity of the state of Utah and generating approximately 25 percent of the annual energy consumed at the Salt Palace Convention Center, says the SLCVB. The county is installing additional energy-efficient equipment in the Salt Palace that is expected to save more than $175,000 annually on utilities.
The project makes sense for the Salt Palace Convention Center, which stands at a 4,500-foot elevation and receives an average 300 days of sunshine per year, according to a press release. The project is the result of a public-private partnership that, due to Utah's recently passed House Bill 145, reduces the upfront costs of solar energy development by enabling innovative third-party financing options for government and certain nonprofit entities.