Energy Capital developing 300 MW plant in Utah

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Energy Capital Group (ECG) has announced plans to develop a 300 MW solar plant in the U.S. state of Utah.

The renewable energy company is building the ECG Utah Solar 1 facility adjacent to the Intermountain Power Plant (IPP) in Millard County, Utah. With an estimated budget of $600 million, the plant will be one of the state’s largest solar projects.

The Utah-based ECG is leasing 1,754 acres (710 hectares) from the Utah School and Institutional Trust Land Administration (SITLA). The company described the location is ideal as the infrastructure includes a high-voltage DC (HVDC) transmission line going directly to California.

"The project will create approximately 200 construction jobs, power an estimated 80,000 homes, generate substantial tax revenue for local and state government, will benefit Utah’s … school children through lease payments to SITLA and provide clean affordable energy," ECG said in a statement.

ECG CEO Josh Case said ECG Utah Solar 1 would "benefit several groups, including the Utah school children, Millard County’s economy, Utah’s economy and the California utilities in their achieving the state RPS [renewable portfolio standard]. The ECG team has made great strides to date and we are reaching more project milestones at a rapid pace. The support from SITLA, Millard County, the state of Utah and other organizations in this whole process has been very much appreciated and we see this as a huge win for all parties involved."

Jeffrey Barrett, Infrastructure & Incentive manager at the Utah Office of Energy Development, welcomed "the uptick in interest in developing Utah’s world-class solar resources," adding that the project would "add enormous economic value to rural Utah."

Despite an ideal climate for PV electricity generation, Utah ranks 28th in the U.S. in cumulative installed solar capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). In 2012, the state installed 1 MW of solar electric capacity, putting it 29th nationally.

Headquartered in Provo, Utah, ECG also has offices in Washington, D.C., California, Virginia and Idaho. The company develops utility-scale and distributed projects.

The company also has a number of solar projects in Arizona, California, Nevada, the Western Pacific island of Guam and Jamaica.