BRIGHAM CITY – There are two proposed, large scale solar farms of 900-acres that could be coming to Box Elder County if Enyo Renewable Energy follows through with their proposals. Enyo Renewable Energy, which has already built three wind farms in the Beehive State, wants to expand their green energy portfolio to include huge solar energy farms in Box Elder County.
Mitch Zundel, the director Box Elder County economic development, said the energy company plans to put one of the farms, dubbed Project Rocket, near Northrup Grumman west of Brigham City and Project Steel near Nucor in the Plymouth area.
“We’ve been working with Enyo Energy for a few years,” said Zundel. “They have been looking for properties in our county.”
The two projects should generate approximately 200 megawatts of electricity and increase the tax base of the county.
Zundel, a Utah State University graduate, said he thought the solar farm would generate an annual $5 million plus in tax revenue to the county which could go back into the communities and schools. Currently, the properties are generating about $40,000 a year.
“The other good thing about green energy is it attracts like-minded businesses,” he said. “Solar farms don’t necessarily create jobs in the county, but it could attract other green industries, like information centers.”
He said the Nucor facility will be the furthest north of the company’s power generating plants.
The proposed solar farms got a thumps-up from the Box Elder County Commission in a recent meeting.
Zundel said even though the agreement was approved by the commission, it doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. There are other hurdles that still need to be overcome; the biggest may be public support.
Enyo is required to get their investors lined up, they have to have a power purchase agreement and to get the power purchase agreement they have to show they have local support.
“They have to have everything lined up first,” said Zundel. “Long story short, they’ve found the land, they have it under contract, and they’re moving forward.”
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reported recently in 2018 Utah ranked fifth in the 50 states using solar power in the United States. The organization reported the industry is booming in the country.
“Solar energy is being deployed on a massive scale by the most iconic brands and best managed companies in the U.S. in order to help lower operating costs and increase profits,” SEIA reported. “The rapidly falling cost of solar has made it increasingly appealing investment for American businesses.”