New power plant to support more jobs and energy innovation
The Intermountain Power Agency in Millard County is replacing its coal run generators with a natural gas and hydrogen power plant. As planning continues, the Utah Foundation released the “Plugging into the Future of Electricity” report. This report details how the switch came as California, where IPA exports its power, decided to no longer accept coal energy.
The Utah Foundation reported on the economic impacts of the project, but senior analyst Christopher Collard said it’s not all clear cut.
“There's a lot of uncertainty because nothing like this exists quite yet,” Collard said.
But so far, the report is promising.
“So we're exporting our power, it's bringing additional money into the system,” Collard said. “And it really makes a substantial difference to these communities.”
President of the Utah Foundation Peter Reichard said this project is a $2 billion investment. Construction contracts on the project will account for 10% of the county's employment, but Reichard said Millard County won’t be the only one benefiting.
“It also means that they're going to be a lot of opportunities for us as a state to seize the initiative on innovation as we move towards this greener economy,” Reichard said.
Collard said the geological salt structures in Utah that can naturally store energy give our state a unique opportunity in developing clean energy. It’s something Reichard said Utah can take advantage of.
“Usually there are winners and losers,” Reichard said. “So we have to make sure that we get more in the win column than the lost column.”