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Health, Science & Environment

Jazz Arena Gets Infusion of Energy From Solar Panels

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Judy Fahys
/
KUER News
Vivint Solar and the Larry H. Miller Group companies are powering Jazz basketball this season with solar panels on the Vivint Smar Home Arena downtown. The system output is estimated at 700 kilowatts -- without polluting the air or the climate.

A new kind of energy is fueling this season for the Utah Jazz. That’s because the Vivint Smart Home Arena is now powered by the sun.

“So, we’re on the top of the Vivint Smart Home Arena,” said David Bywater, Vivint Solar’s CEO.

Everybody who climbed up to the roof to see it was offered sunglasses even though it was a Fall day during what’s often Utah’s rainiest month.

“It’s got a majestic view of the mountains behind us,” he says, looking beyond Salt Lake City toward the Wasatch Range. “And, if you look across the rooftop of this epic building, it is a solar farm, if you would, and it’s stunning.”

Twenty-seven hundred solar panels now top the building that the Utah Jazz calls home. That’s enough clean energy to power 89 basketball games and around 100 homes. To generate the same amount of electricity, it would take about 500 tons of coal and pump air pollution and greenhouse gasses into Utah skies.

The solar panels are part of more than $100 million of improvements planned over the next year.

“As we set out to plan this renovation, one of the first things that came up was sustainability,” says Jim Olson, president of the arena. “And as we looked at our 80,000 square foot roof, we knew that solar was the first step we needed to take.”

Salt Lake City’s redevelopment agency is helping with $22.7 million in tax breaks for the updating the arena.

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