The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected the Utah Office of Energy Development (OED) to receive $62.45 million through EPA Solar For All, a federal program to increase access to the benefits of solar power for traditionally underserved communities. Utah is one of 60 recipients chosen from a competitive review process thanks to a months-long effort of the Utah Solar for All Coalition.

Led by the OED, the Utah Solar for All Coalition brought together experts from the University of Utah, Utah Clean Energy, Utah Department of Environmental Quality/Division of Air Quality, Salt Lake City Department of Sustainability and Salt Lake County to develop the initiative that harnesses Utah’s abundant sunshine to help vulnerable communities gain energy independence and resiliency and access to Utah’s thriving solar workforce.

“The University of Utah has a strong dedication to sustainability and community well-being in the state, so we are thrilled to be part of an initiative to bring this clean energy resource to the people who need it most,” said Marian Rice, associate director of the Energy Futures Research Engine at the U, Utah Solar For All Coalition member and chair of the coalition’s community benefits committee. “We are excited to collaborate with Solar for All Coalition, state and local government, NPOs and community groups on projects that benefit Utah’s people, economy and ecosystem.”

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) Energy Futures Research Engine led the U’s significant contributions to the Utah Solar for All proposal. In addition to Rice, Elizabeth Gerhard of the Large Infrastructure Funding Team (LIFT), consultant Kimberly Johnson, Kimberly Schmit of University Neighborhood Partners and Kody Powell, John A. and Amy B. Williams Endowed Professor in the department of Chemical Engineering and co-director of the Intermountain Industrial Assessment Center, supported the proposal.

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