Ballard Spahr continues to work with Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City to take advantage of their federal Solar City designation. With claim to one of 25 such designations nationwide, the county and its largest municipality are eligible for technical and financial assistance in expanding solar energy use.

Initially, we partnered with Utah-based Zions Bank and a financial consultant to evaluate options for financing solar-powered projects on county land. We looked at both public and private forms of ownership and financing, including tax-exempt financing, Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, energy investment tax credits, and New Markets Tax Credits.

In presenting its conclusions, our team made a recommendation but also provided an array of options, considering ease of implementation and affordability. Additionally, we laid out the steps ahead for the county in its march toward expanded solar use and other policy areas to be considered. Ballard Spahr also helped write a request for proposals to install solar panels.

The firm is now conducting a similar financial study for bringing solar energy to homes in Salt Lake County. This work is being done through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the U.S. Department of Energy. Inquiries focus on the recipients of the tax credit, the optimum mix of federal and state benefits, and the potential role of a utility rebate.