A move to renew

Dalton Gallegos

The Ogden City Council voted to enter into a new program with other communities to procure utility-scale renewable energy for both residents and businesses. The program, called The Interlocal Cooperation Agreement for the Community Renewable Energy Program, passed in March 2019 by the Utah Legislature, required each participating council to pass a resolution to establish a goal of using renewable energy for 100% of the city’s annual electrical supply.

Ogden's Renewable Energy program is exploring whether the city will commit to moving towards 100% renewable energy. The new parking structure, located next to parking services, has solar panels mounted on top. (Bella Torres / The Signpost)
Ogden's Renewable Energy program is exploring whether the city will commit to moving towards 100% renewable energy. (Bella Torres / The Signpost)

Following the legislation in 2019, the Ogden City Council reviewed the CREP to decide if they would participate, and they officially adopted the resolution to make the switch to electrical supply to renewable energy by 2030.

Janene Eller-Smith, executive director of the Ogden City Council, gave the presentation to the city council in July and said the program is the first of its kind in the nation.

“This was to serve as a model for local governments to partner with a major utility to deliver a customer choice model,” Eller-Smith said. “Ultimately, the goal is to get renewable energy by 2030.”

Currently, the program only targets converting the electricity supply to renewable energy and only Rocky Mountain Power is working with the agreement or is affected by the legislation passed regarding the agreement.

“There are other utility companies in Utah, but those companies are through an organization called UM, so the program only applies to Rocky Mountain Power,” Christiansen said.

Finalized participation must be approved by ordinance by September 2022, and after that point, renewable energy will be the default source of electricity for customers in participating communities, though individuals can opt-out for their services. The first renewable resources produced by the CREP project are anticipated to be online in 2025 or 2026.

Both Eller-Smith and Christiansen feel the program is going to help Ogden residents and are excited for the program.

“I have been working in sustainability for nearly 20 years,” Christiansen said. “I’ve run community solar programs and have helped hundreds of families go solar and transition to electric vehicles and be more energy efficient. If they choose to move forward with this program, it will have a greater impact than everything I have done together for the last 20 years.”