Salt Lake City Aims to Double Renewable Energy Powered Municipal Operations

Powered by the Rocky Mountain Power-sponsored Subscriber Solar initiative, Salt Lake City, UT is doubling down on its use of renewable energy for municipal operations.

Subscriber Solar

Subscriber Solar (photo – rockymountainpower.net)

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski was joined by Rocky Mountain Power CEO Cindy Crane for an announcement that the City’s use of Subscriber Solar will ramp up the amount of sustainable energy powering government operations from six percent to 12 percent by the end of the year.

In the State of the City address given earlier this year, Mayor Biskupski had said that “Salt Lake City’s request for a commitment from our energy provider to increase the use of renewable energy is achievable and sound policy to combat the effects of climate change.”

In the address, the Mayor also announced that the City has set a goal to have 50 percent of municipal operations powered by renewable energy such as solar, wind, and geothermal sources by 2020, and pledged to make the city’s utility sources carbon free by 2032.

Salt Lake City currently has more than 4,000 solar panels installed on its government properties. The new Subscriber Solar initiative will go a long way towards meeting the city’s sustainability goals by providing more renewable energy output than all municipal projects completed to date.

Specifically, Salt Lake City has committed to a subscription of three megawatts of solar power, or roughly 9,000 solar panels worth of clean energy. In addition, the City is planning new solar installations on multiple fire stations later this year.

Mayor Biskupski said in a statement that “We are thrilled to align with Subscriber Solar and invest in clean, carbon-free energy to better serve our community.”

Rocky Mountain Power CEO Crane likewise noted that Salt Lake City is once again showing its pioneering spirit by being the one of the first to sign up for the Subscriber Solar program and make a substantial commitment to renewable energy.

“It is our hope other communities, businesses and residents will follow Salt Lake City’s lead on Subscriber Solar,” added Crane.

Rocky Mountain Power’s innovative Subscriber Solar program allows customers to subscribe to some or all of their electricity to be sourced from clean solar power. Even customers who cannot afford rooftop solar panels or do not want them on their home can subscribe.

The solar power needed for this initiative is being generated from a new 20-megawatt solar farm in Holden, UT, located about two hours south of Salt Lake City. The farm project is scheduled to be operational by December, and enrolled customers will be switched over to the Subscriber Solar rate schedule starting in January next year.

Draper, Utah Gets New SolarCity Corporate Office

SolarCity has announced that it has opened a new corporate office in the Vista Station development in Draper, UT.


SolarCity (photo -chak/wikipedia)

This latest expansion of the company’s operations in Utah follows the site selection and opening earlier this year of SolarCity’s downtown Salt Lake City corporate office.

Since then, SolarCity has already hired 220 employees in Utah and expects to create thousands of new jobs over the next ten years.

At that time, Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), said in a release that SolarCity’s choice of Utah for its regional headquarters is a reflection of the vibrant growth of alternative energy companies in the state. “The creation of thousands of jobs over the coming decade is likely only a beginning,” predicted Hale.

The effort to grow the clean energy economy seems to be working out nicely for Utah, at least in the short term. SolarCity alone has committed to creating up to 4,000 jobs and investing $94 million over the next 10 years.

A recent report released by Environmental Entrepreneurs, or E2, ranked Utah the top state for clean energy job creation. According to the report, Utah led the nation by announcing nearly 3,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2015. This marks the state’s fourth consecutive quarter on the E2 Jobs Report top ten clean energy states list.

U.S. Senator for Utah Orrin Hatch said in the release that “SolarCity’s expansion in Utah is a welcome move in a state that works hard to provide a business-friendly climate for such investments. I know the company will feel at home in Draper, and I expect to see great things from them in the future.”

SolarCity’s business model promotes the adoption of mainstream solar in communities nationwide while simultaneously creating jobs that contribute to a clean energy economy. The company also plans to continue working alongside Utah policymakers to strengthen the state’s environmental policies and clean air initiatives.

The GOED Board of Directors has already approved a post-performance tax credit rebate of $24,441,053 for SolarCity as part of the contract for the Salt Lake City regional headquarters project announced earlier this summer. SolarCity stands to earn up to 25 percent of the new state taxes they will pay over the 10-year life of the agreement in the form of a post-performance Utah Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) tax credit rebate.

If the company generates a minimum of 4,500 jobs and meets additional criteria, SolarCity may earn an extension to the agreement for another five years that could earn the company an incremental incentive increase of $20,411,880.

San Mateo, CA-based SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) currently serves 19 states and and provides approximately one out of every three solar systems in the U.S. The company already employs more than 15,000 people nationwide.

Italian Manufacturer Selle Royal Joins Ogden, UT Bicycle Cluster

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced that bicycle parts manufacturing company Selle Royal group will be opening a new facility in Ogden, UT.

Selle Royal

Selle Royal (photo – selleroyal.com)

Supported by an Utah Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) tax credit rebate, the company will make a capital investment of up to $4 million and expects to create up to 65 new jobs for Ogden and Utah.

Pozzoleone, Italy-based Selle Royal S.p.A was founded in 1956 and already employs more than 1,000 people worldwide, distributing its products in over 70 countries. Its iconic bicycle saddle brands now include Fizik, Selle Royal and Brooks.

Brooks England Ltd, the first bicycle saddle producer in history, was acquired by Selle Royal group in 2002. The company acquired Laguna Beach, CA-based Crank Brothers in 2008, expanding its product base to mountain bike parts like pedals, wheels, tools and pumps.

Gaspare Licata, general manager of Selle Royal North America, said in a release that their group is made of product-driven brands. “The state of Utah, and Ogden in particular, is becoming a great area for outdoor industry, and we think we can attract great talent here,” added Licata.

The state and Ogden economic development benefits from the project will be significant too. The total wages in aggregate for the new jobs the company creates are required to exceed 110 percent of the Weber County average wage. The projected new state wages over the life of the agreement are expected to be approximately $16,195,500.

In addition to the impact of the wages, the $4 million investment and the company’s operations, the state will also benefit from new tax revenues estimated to be at $1,360,515 over seven years.

Selle Royal group stands to earn up to 20 percent of the new state taxes they generate over the seven-year life of the agreement in the form of a post-performance EDTIF tax credit rebate, up to a maximum of $272,103. The company will earn a portion of the total tax credit rebate each year as it meets the criteria in its contract with the state.

GOED Executive Director Val Hale said in the release that Utah is truly a global hub for outdoor products, and it’s wonderful to see an established international company like Selle Royal group recognize this and join the ranks.

Economic Development Corporation of Utah President and CEO Jeff Edwards likewise noted that they are excited to have Selle Royal group join the thriving cycling manufacturing industry in Ogden.

Ogden, billed as the “Bicycle Cluster of North America,” has specific assets that appeal to bicycling and outdoor products companies. Apart from the two river systems that converge in Ogden and the hundreds of miles of trails, Ogden also has a commercial wind tunnel that is used for testing by bicycle companies.

Salt Lake City Economic Development Gets Federal Boost From PSC Operations Center

The Program Support Center (PSC), a federal agency that is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is opening a satellite office in downtown Salt Lake City, UT.


Program Support Center (photo – psc.gov)

The PSC office in the former Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse will begin operations next month. Salt Lake City economic development benefits from the project include more than 100 new high-wage federal jobs that PSC plans to bring to the city over the next year.

The PSC job opportunities in Salt Lake City, some of which have a salary range of more than $150,000 per year, are posted on usajobs.gov. The positions available at the PSC office in Salt Lake City are for a wide variety of professionals who will be providing support services to agencies across the federal government.

In a release explaining the choice of Salt Lake City for the new PSC satellite office location, HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Program Support Paul S. Bartley said that “When choosing the location for our soon-to-be-opening satellite office, we worked closely with the General Services Administration (GSA) and recognized that Salt Lake City is a dynamic and growing city, in a region with much to offer and a low cost of living.”

Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), noted that years ago, a federal operation like this might have picked a larger metro area in California or Colorado. Hale added that it’s wonderful to see more and more businesses, and government entities, understand the value of locating in Utah.

The Program Support Center, established 20 years ago, is the largest multi-function shared service provider to the Federal government, and provides over 40 services to HHS and other Federal agencies. Services offered by PSC are organized into five Portfolios – administrative operations, financial management, occupational health, procurement management, and real estate & logistics.

PSC basically provides many of the essential functions needed to keep government agencies operating. It does things as disparate as managing Federal employee health clinics to delivering the mail. It’s wide range of services include everything from digital archiving to negotiating contracts, accounting and financial reporting, storing and distributing medical supplies, and more.

In the previous fiscal year, PSC disbursed 434,954 grant payments for $429 billion from the Payment Management System for HHS; processed nearly $10 billion in salary and wages; collected over $3.7 billion governmental receivables; managed more than 182,000 invoices for approximately $5.2 billion; and delivered 10,773,540 pieces of mail.

SolarCity, Vivint Expansions Support Salt Lake City, Utah Economic Development and Alternative Energy Industry

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced a major expansion of the solar industry in Utah with new projects by SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) and Vivint Solar, Inc. (NYSE:VSLR).


SolarCity (photo -chak/wikipedia)

Salt Lake City economic development benefits from SolarCity’s new regional corporate headquarters include a $94 million investment and 4,000 new professional services jobs over the next ten years.

In aggregate, the wages for these new jobs, excluding medical benefits, are expected to exceed 125 percent of the county average wage. All told, SolarCity is expected to generate approximately $2.4 billion in new wages over the duration of the agreement with the state.

The new state tax revenues, including corporate, payroll and sales taxes, that will be generated by the project are estimated to be over $110.8 million during this 10-year period.

Brigham Young University alumnus Brendon Merkley, who is executive vice president of customer operations at SolarCity, said in a release that they chose Utah as a regional headquarters because of its educated workforce and affordable cost of living for those in the professional roles they will create in the Beehive State.

Utah economic development incentives provided to secure this project include 25 percent of the new state taxes, which the company can earn in the form of a post-performance Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) tax credit rebate that works out to about $24,441,053 over the life of the agreement.

If SolarCity creates at least 4,500 jobs and meets certain additional criteria, it could earn a 5-year extension of the agreement that would result in additional incentives of $20,411,880. San Mateo, CA-based SolarCity may also be eligible for a post-performance Industrial Assistance Fund relocation grant of up to $200,000 for relocating management personnel.

Val Hale, executive director of GOED said in the release that SolarCity’s choice of Utah for its regional headquarters is a reflection of the vibrant growth of alternative energy companies in the state.

Economic Development Corporation of Utah President and CEO Jeff Edwards likewise added that this is a win for the state’s alternative energy industry.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker said in the release that SolarCity’s work will “help us achieve our aggressive goals to have clean, affordable renewable energy in the region.”

SolarCity has moved into a temporary location at 175 East 400 South in Salt Lake City while it scouts for a permanent site for the corporate campus.

Meanwhile, GOED also announced that Lehi, UT-based Vivint Solar, Inc. is planning an expansion of its operations in the state with a $91 million capital investment and the creation of 3,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.

The company, which already has 1,000 people in Utah and another 2,000 out-of-state, is doubling its workforce to add another 3,000 new jobs in Utah. The wages for the new jobs, excluding medical benefits, will exceed 125 percent of the average county wage. This project will generate $1.1 billion in wages over the life of the agreement.

Vivint’s expansion will also generate new state taxes totaling $49.4 million, and the comapny will be eligible to earn up to 25 percent of this amount as a post-performance EDTIF tax rebate of about $12,347,369.

Vivint, like SolarCity, has been offered the option of extending the agreement another five years if it meets certain job creation criteria. In that case, the company could earn another $13,816,537 in incentives. They may also get up to $200,000 in the form of an Industrial Assistance Fund relocation and training grant for relocating management and for training its expanded workforce.

GOED’s Hale said in a release that it’s always exciting to see a homegrown company become so successful.

Vivint Solar CEO Greg Butterfield said that Vivint Solar is proud to be headquartered in Utah, and added that they are excited to continue to expand operations in the Beehive State.

Utah Launches Economic Development Map as Site Selection Tool

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah announced the launch of an interactive economic development map to help businesses find the location-specific data they need to make informed site selection decisions.

Utah Economic Development Map

Utah Economic Development Map (photo – locate.utah.gov)

The Utah economic development map project and website was funded by the state and developed by GOED’s Broadband Outreach Center.

Typing an address or clicking a location on the map generates a report that includes broadband availability at that specific address, with a full listing of fiber providers and other fixed broadband providers.

The report summary also includes other data useful for site selectors such as utilities, transportation, workforce, and lifestyle and recreation. The transportation data includes local, regional and international airports serving the location, along with a listing of major roads, freeways, state routes and interstates within a mile.

Workforce data includes a full listing of schools, colleges and universities in the area, along with the top 10 county industries, and demographics of county residents. The lifestyle and recreation data included in the report is a listing of nearby state parks and ski resorts, and national parks within easy reach.

Users can evaluate locations and print customized reports that include in-depth summaries of the infrastructure available for their chosen locations.

GOED Executive Director Val Hale said in a release announcing the launch of this tool that it is yet another way they are assisting businesses who are interested in relocating to Utah. Hale added that their team is continually developing strategies to simplify the site selection process as they invite new businesses into the state.

The Broadband Outreach Center is a program involving the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Public Service Commission, and the Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC) that is a part of the Utah Department of Technology Services.

The economic development map at locate.utah.gov was developed by the Broadband Outreach Center as part of its mission to promote broadband availability and adoption statewide.

The new map will complement EDCUtah’’s existing utahsuresites.com website that allows users to explore the state’s inventory of listed commercial real estate.

EDCUtah President and CEO Jeff Edwards said in the release that Utah continues to lead the nation as a premier business destination as companies continue to set up shop in the state, and this new tool highlights all the services and amenities these companies can enjoy.

Utah Governor Signs HB141 to Support Online Disruptive Innovator Zenefits

The Utah Legislature, the Office of Governor Gary Herbert, and the Utah Insurance Commission all came together to quickly update the state’s statutory insurance inducement definitions and resolve an issue that was causing the state to be perceived as inhospitable to tech innovators and startups.


Zenefits (photo – zenefits.com)

The definitions as they existed before HB141 was signed into law by the Governor had resulted in the banning of human resource software company Zenefits from offering their free HR service in Utah.

Last year in November, the Utah Department of Insurance issued a finding that San Francisco, CA-based Zenefits’ business model illegally induces the purchase of insurance. Zenefits’ free HR platform allows its clients to bypass insurance brokers and get free, instant health insurance plan quotes.

At that time, Zenefits Co-Founder and CEO Parker Conrad published a response in which he said that it is clear that Utah shut down Zenefits for one reason only – to protect traditional insurance brokers from online competition. This, he said, has sent a strong message to tech companies in Utah, in Silicon Valley, and across the country – that Utah’s “Silicon Slopes” are impassable.

Zenefits also sent a strongly worded response to the Utah Insurance Department in which they said that the ban on Zenefits would have ripple effects beyond the insurance marketplace, pegging the State as inhospitable to companies that use technology and innovation to reach new markets or disrupt existing ones.

HB 141, co-sponsored by State Rep. John Knotwell and State Senator Curtis Bramble, was introduced to resolve this issue. With support from the Governor’s Office, the bill was introduced and fast-tracked through the Utah Legislature within the limited 45-day legislative session.

Gov. Gary R. Herbert said in a statement issued after the bill signing that “There are always going to be innovators and disruptors as technology accelerates business growth and we believe government needs to be able to work with these innovators to ensure strong and efficient economic policies and an open marketplace.”

Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said in the release that they want to continue sending the message that Utah is the best state for business. Hale added that Utah not only welcomes business, but will also work with you to help your business grow, innovate, disrupt, and ultimately prosper.

Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad once again published a letter on their company blog, but this time it was praise. He says in the letter that Gov. Herbert’s signing of the law ending Utah’s ban on Zenefits makes it clear that the Beehive State supports innovation, technology and competition.

Conrad adds that this is a huge victory not only for Utah’s businesses, but also for Utah’s continued growth as an American tech hub.

Utah Approves Economic Development Tax Incentives for Prosper Marketplace Sales HQ

Prosper Marketplace, Inc., the company behind the leading peer-to-peer lending marketplace, has decided to locate its sales division headquarters in Utah.


Prosper (photo – CarbonNYC [in SF!]/flickr)

Supported through Utah Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) incentives, the company expects to make a capital investment of $10 million for this project and create more than 500 jobs over the next five years.

The total wages for these jobs, including medical benefits, are in aggregate expected to exceed 125 percent of the prevailing average wage in the county. The total new state wages generated by the project during the 5-year agreement period are projected to be approximately $118 million.

Additional state tax revenues generated by the project during the same period are estimated to be around $4.6 million.

In order to secure this project, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development Board of Directors has approved a post-performance EDTIF tax credit of up to $925,753. This amount represents 20 percent of the estimated new state taxes that the Prosper Marketplace sales headquarters project will generate during the five year agreement period.

GOED Executive Director Val Hale said in a release announcing the project that Prosper Marketplace is a leading marketplace lending company in the cutting-edge FinTech industry, which fuses two of Utah’s strongest economic clusters.

Hale added that both the IT and financial services industries in Utah will benefit from the presence of such an innovative company.

Economic Development Corporation of Utah President and CEO Jeff Edwards said that Prosper’s decision demonstrates that Utah is clearly the best place to expand sales operations.

Apart from sales and marketing position, the new jobs being created by Prosper also include roles for software engineers, business analysts, loan underwriting, and finance and administrative roles.

Prosper Marketplace, through its San Francisco, CA-based subsidiary Prosper Funding LLC, operates the Prosper platform that has funded more than $2.5 billion in personal loans. The Prosper.com platform allows borrowers to list loan requests between $2,000 and $35,000. Individual investors can then invest as little as $25 in each loan listing. Prosper will then handle the servicing of the loan on behalf of the matched borrowers and investors.

Prosper Marketplace CEO Aaron Vermut said in the GOED release that they’re looking forward to expanding their presence in the state of Utah and bringing jobs to the state in the exciting FinTech sector.

Oemeta Selects Salt Lake County, Utah for First U.S. Manufacturing Facility

Oemeta, a German company that provides environmentally friendly metalworking fluids, announced plans to open their first U.S. manufacturing facility in Salt Lake County, Utah.


Oemeta (photo – oemeta.com)

The company plans to invest $5.25 million to establish the high-tech manufacturing facility, and expects to create 58 new jobs over the next seven years.

These jobs will pay wages and medical benefits that will, in aggregate, exceed 125 percent of the county’s prevailing average wage. The new state wages over the seven-year period are projected to exceed $12.6 million.

Oemeta’s biobased technology is safer than traditional petrochemicals and other chemicals used as coolants and metalworking fluids in industrial machining. The company’s USDA certified biobased products are used by major automotive clients such as Audi and BMW.

Oemeta’s North American headquarters is in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada, and their U.S. offices are based out of Fort Lee, NJ.

In order to secure the project for Salt Lake County and Utah, the Board of Directors of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development approved up to $113,447 in tax credits for Oemeta.

Every year, as the company fulfills its job creation commitments under the seven-year contract with the state, a portion of the tax credits allocated will be made available as an Economic Development Tax Increment Finance incentive.

The Oemeta facility is expected to generate $567,233 in new state taxes over the seven-year agreement period. The total amount in EDTIF incentives being provided is 20 percent of the tax revenue expected to be generated by the project.

Val Hale, executive director of GOED, said that Oemeta’s addition to Utah’s growing list of manufacturing companies hits home two major points – that Utah is actively recruiting foreign firms to invest in the state, and is increasingly aware of bringing environmentally friendly companies to the state.

Utah recently announced a $79 million environment-friendly greenhouse tomato farm project in Juab County, UT by Houweling’s Tomatoes which is bringing 280 new jobs to the state, along with cutting-edge sustainable farming and climate control technology.

Andrew Leech, president and CEO of Oemeta Inc., said they are looking forward to continue working with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development in their commitment to incorporating the value of more environmentally friendly industrial machining processes.

Utah Economic Development Corp President and CEO Jeff Edwards said Utah continues to attract high-tech companies from around the world thanks to low taxes, a skilled workforce and sound regulations.

Goldman Sachs Expansion Gets $13M in Utah Economic Development Incentives

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced approval of an incentive package for The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., ensuring that the prestigious financial services firm goes ahead with an expansion plan that includes the addition of up to 350 new jobs over the next twenty years.

Goldman Sachs office tower in Salt lake City

Goldman Sachs office tower in Salt lake City (photo – Ricardo630/wikipedia)

Goldman Sachs maintains offices in all the major financial centers around the world, and has maintained a steady presence in Salt Lake City and Utah for nearly 14 years.

The 350 jobs they plan to create are high-value jobs whose aggregate wages, including medical benefits, are expected to be more than 125 percent of the prevailing average wage in the county.

The new state wages are projected to add up to $1.1 billion over the 20-year agreement period. The additional state tax revenue that will be generated during the same period, including sales, payroll and corporate taxes, is estimated to be around $43.5 million.

In order to secure this project, the GOED Board of Directors approved an Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) incentive of up to $13,057,377.

Goldman Sachs will be able to claim this as a post-performance tax credit equivalent to 30 percent of the new state taxes the company pays related to this expansion over the 20-year agreement period. As long as Goldman Sachs lives up to its commitments as per the contract, the company can claim a portion of the tax credit annually.

“It goes without saying that part of the economic success Utah has experienced over the last decade can be credited to Goldman Sachs investing in Utah,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert.

Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, said that Goldman Sachs’ growth in Utah is reflective of the robust business environment and the quality of the state’s people. Edwards added that they appreciate Goldman’s continued commitment to growing their business in Utah.

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) was founded in 1869 and continues to be headquartered in New York, NY as one of the world’s leading investment banking, asset management and investment management firms with nearly 33,000 employees in offices at major financial centers all over the world. Last year, Goldman Sachs generated $40.87 billion in revenue, which resulted in net income of over $8 billion.

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