At the end of May, Utah Governor Gary Herbert hosted his annual Energy Summit which was a true display of how an “all of the above energy strategy” can unleash innovation to build the economy and protect the environment. Over, 1,100 attendees heard from notable speakers including Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, members of Congress, and CEO’s from a variety of energy companies and utilities.
Gov. Herbert made several major announcements at the conference including the world’s largest clean energy battery facility, a DOE grant for geothermal energy development, and a multi-state agreement on natural gas development was also expanded. Taken individually these are major innovation announcements in the energy sector but announced on a single day shows that Gov. Herbert’s strategy to welcome all sources of energy development is paying off.
More details on Gov. Herbert’s major energy project announcements are below:
ACES Project – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and Magnum Development launched a 1 GW Advanced Clean Energy Storage (ACES) project in central Utah. It will be the largest energy storage of its kind in the world. The project in Millard county will utilize the region’s unique salt domes to employ four types of storage technologies including, renewable hydrogen, compressed air storage, large scale flow batteries, and solid oxide fuel cells.
DOE FORGE Project – In what was described as a once in a lifetime opportunity, the Department of Energy announced that Milford, Utah was selected as the location for the Frontier Observatory in Geothermal Energy (FORGE). Utah will receive $140 million in funding for the next five years for cutting edge research and development in enhanced geothermal recovery utilizing techniques similar to oil and gas industry’s hydraulic fracturing process.
WSTN Signing Ceremony – Gov. Herbert’s Office of Energy Development led a ceremonial signing to expand the Western States and Tribal Nations Agreement on natural gas to include the Wyoming Pipeline Authority. The coalition aims to market clean burning western natural gas to international markets which would be a financial boon to rural counties in the west and the Ute tribal nation.
Summarizing Utah’s work as a leader in energy innovation, Dr. Laura Nelson, head of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development and the Governor’s Energy Adviser said that Utah, “…is committed to creating and building the strategic partnerships that provide local, regional and global leadership for powering a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy economy. Governor Herbert's strategic energy plan continues to accelerate unprecedented investment, innovation and workforce opportunities for Utah's diverse energy landscape and provide the energy future that delivers global solutions to meet ever-evolving market demands."