The state of solar power in Utah
Utah’s national ranking for solar generation shot up from 26th place in 2018 to 11th place in 2019. Prices have fallen by 36 percent over the past five years attracting more Utahns to switch to solar power.
The beehive state has an average of 226 sunny days each year and is the 5th sunniest state in the US. That's only a difference of only 15 percent compared to the best state for solar, California. The greatest snow on earth in Utah is a concern but keeping solar panels clear can mitigate this.
How much solar power does Utah produce?
Utah produces roughly 1,757.74 MW of electricity through solar power, which translates to 6.35 percent of the state’s electricity. With the current rapid growth in the industry, another 1,567 MW is expected to come online in the next five years.
As of 2019, 36,218 solar installations power 340,361 homes. The state benefits from 6,045 jobs in the solar industry. With several large retailers , including IKEA and Patagonia going solar and an expansive solar plant in Paragonah, the future of solar is healthy in Utah.
Is solar power generation feasible in Utah?
Utah is ranked in the top one-fifth nationwide for solar power generation.
Sarah Wright of Utah Clean Energy states that Utah is "amongst the best states in the country for sunshine" and sits "in the top 10 for solar resources." Wright also suggests that improvements to interconnection standards and net metering have helped solar shine in Utah.
Previously, the biggest barrier to solar in Utah was financial, but as the price of solar drops and legislation to decrease costs further crop up, that barrier is breaking. Solar power is expected to continue its upward trajectory through 2040 at the least.
How much does solar cost in Utah?
The cost of installing solar power in the Beehive State is not prohibitive. As in all states, a 26 percent federal tax credit is available along with a renewable energy system tax credit . * This credit allows you to claim up to $1,600 toward 25 percent of equipment costs. Additional incentives are available depending on your utility company and area.
Tax credits and local incentives can cut costs by thousands of dollars.
With a projected payback period of just over nine years (depending on your home and solar system), solar installations in Utah make sound economic sense.
What legal considerations affect solar power in Utah?
As mentioned, the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) can provide you a 26 percent tax credit for the purchase of solar until the end of 2020 when it will be phased out for residential solar.*
The Utah state government also offers a credit against income taxes the following year, allowing residential solar consumers to offset equipment and installation costs.*
Utah is also net-metering friendly. Net metering allows you to send surplus energy back to the grid. You can then call on this when it’s snowy or cloudy, so you’ll never be without power. Rocky Mountain Power offers the most competitive net metering program in Utah.
Solar easement laws allow you to work with your neighbors to ensure no obstructions cast shade over your solar installation. There's also a solar rights law in place in Utah to prevent developers from vetoing the installation of solar panels on homes.
Then there is also the before mentioned legislation passed by Governor Herbert safeguarding consumers while simultaneously extending the state tax credit.
How can I start using solar in Utah?
If you’re ready to make the switch to solar in Utah, contact SunPower by Custom Energy. Whether you are a homeowner or homebuilder, SunPower by Custom Energy has services and products to suit your needs. Request a free savings estimate to get started and find out how much you can save with SunPower by Custom Energy.
*. Incentives, rebates, and tax credits vary and are subject to change. SunPower does not warrant, guarantee or otherwise advise its customers about specific tax outcomes or their ability to qualify for local incentives. Consult your tax advisor regarding the solar tax credit and how it applies to your specific circumstances. Your SunPower Dealer can help you determine if you qualify for other local incentives. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.