BOUNTIFUL – Davis County residents interested in solar energy for their home or business will get a chance to participate in a pilot program sponsored by the University of Utah.
According to a press release from the school, The University of Utah is the first university in the country to sponsor a community solar program. Organizers hope the program will provide a simple, streamlined installation process and a substantial discount on residential rooftop solar panels.
The release said Davis County residents are eligible to participate in the community solar program, and an information session will be held Tuesday, Aug. 19, 6-7:30 p.m. at the University of Utah Bountiful Continuing Education Campus, Room 201, 75 E. 200 South.
Environmental engineers say that since the program launched in April, more than 1,000 people have expressed interest in the program, and 90 people have contracted to install solar.
The release said the contracts represent a total of 431 kilowatts of power, which would prevent 27 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere during the 25-year lifespans of the systems.
Those interested in the program can get started by taking a solar survey. The program is open to residents of Davis, Salt Lake and Summit counties, and Davis County residents make up 11 percent of the total surveys taken, the release said.
According to the U of U statement, Davis residents who have signed contracts have some of the largest solar systems, and that while the average installation through U Community Solar is a 4-5 kilowatt system, the ones in Davis County are 5-8 kilowatts.
The program runs through Oct. 1, 2014, and members of the U community, including faculty, staff, students, alumni and campus guests are eligible to participate, the release said, and homeowners will work directly with one of the two selected installers to get a bid based on the size, location and energy use of their home.
“We are excited to offer this program and feel the benefits of clean energy in our own community,” said Myron Willson, director of the U’s Sustainability Resource Center. “We can make a big difference when we work together to take small steps to improve the environment.”