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Utah Nonprofit Ramping Up Renewables

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Established in 2002, Utah Clean Energy works to bolster renewables, energy storage and efficiency, and clean transportation initiatives. The nonprofit’s goal is to help the environment and public health, as well as boost the Beehive State’s economy and energy grid reliability. 

On Sept. 28, 2023, Utah Clean Energy hosted a Party for Clean Power, bringing together state and local leaders to celebrate the state’s progress  to date.

At the recent event, the organization also recognized climate champions like Scott Anderson and Rev. Dr. Oscar Moses for their exceptional dedication to advancing climate solutions within the community. Moses was the conduit between Utah Clean Energy and the Calvary Baptist Church, the largest African-American church in Utah. The partnership completed energy efficiency upgrades to the church facility and the homes of members of its congregation. 

Video Courtesy Utah Clean Energy  

“I think God has assigned me to Calvary to connect with people that are concerned about the matters of the Earth and the urgency of taking action to save our planet,” Moses said in a video. “We did take on some energy upgrades, and I’m thanking God for those. The upgrades we have taken on are estimated to cut energy consumption by 158,000 kilowatts.”

Utah Clean Energy is in the process of opening its Climate Innovation Center. The project is a retrofit of an old building, utilizing building and design techniques that result in net-zero carbon emissions.

The Climate Innovation Center will become a living laboratory and teaching tool for the community, including educating the public on ways to build and renovate buildings for optimal pollution reduction. 

The new space will be all-electric with no onsite fossil fuel use, powered instead by solar. Utah Clean Energy hopes it will help people understand where the world is going.

Photo Courtesy Utah Clean Energy   

“So, Utah Clean Energy just didn’t need a place to call home,” Sarah Wright, Utah Clean Energy’s executive director, said in a video. “We wanted to take an existing building with all its embodied carbon and retrofit it into the most energy-efficient, climate-friendly building that we could.”

“Not only will it serve as the new home of Utah Clean Energy, but its net-zero retrofit will serve as a model for buildings across the Wasatch Front and throughout the state of Utah,” Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank, said at the Climate Innovation Center kick-off event. 

“Buildings are essential to addressing climate change because they’re such a large part of our carbon footprint,” said Dr. Rob Davies, associate professor at Utah State University.

Video Courtesy Utah Clean Energy  

Overall, Utah Clean Energy has become the clearinghouse for all things related to policy around renewables and regulatory and consumer information in the state. The public can donate directly toward Utah’s clean power future by visiting the nonprofit’s website. 

“We’ve got to make a change; we’ve got to do things differently,” said Mark Miller, owner of the Mark Miller Auto Group. “If we continue down the path we’re on, our grandchildren aren’t going to be able to live here anymore.”

“This is our fight; this is our opportunity to make it right,” Rodrigo Fernandez-Esquivias, student activist, said at the kick-off event. “Thank you for wanting to be part of the solution; it’s going to take all of us.”

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