Park City Mayor Andy Beerman earlier this year announced a goal of adding 100 electric vehicle chargers to town. Rocky Mountain Power aided in forwarding that goal Friday, when they presented a check to the mayor.
Beerman addressed a crowd of about 20 people outside the Park City Library, saying it’s an exciting time to be talking about climate.
“I think a few years ago, many of us let out a collective groan, worried that we’re going to take a big step backwards," Beerman said. "And on maybe a national level we have—we’re struggling to even acknowledge some of the challenges facing us—but what has happened as a result of that is it’s become incumbent upon us to step up locally.”
Beerman detailed local actions being taken to address climate change, including Park City’s goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030; the City’s transition to electric buses; and the passage of HB 411, the Community Renewable Energy Act, which sets up a structure for municipalities to partner with an electric utility—in this case, Rocky Mountain Power—to provide 100% net-renewably sourced electricity by 2030.
Calling electric vehicles the next phase toward Park City’s energy goals, James Campbell with Rocky Mountain Power presented Beerman with a check for more than $600,000 to install infrastructure for electric chargers in Park City.
Friday’s event featured different models of electric vehicles for guests to check out. Jeremy Ranch resident Chris Neville inspected a 2019 Nissan Leaf. He and his wife, Carolyn Wawra with Recycle Utah, are considering swapping out one of their gas vehicles for an electric or hybrid, probably in the next two years.
"We’re both big electric bus riders, and we’re just really interested, not only in the infrastructure, but what that looks like as a two-car family and how we use less gas," Neville said.
Beerman says he’s heard people say Park City can convert to electric because the community is progressive and wealthy, and that it’s less plausible for larger communities. But Beerman contends Park City can serve as a model for others.
"Cities all the way from the size of Breckenridge to LA have come here and looked at the electrification of our fleet," Beerman said. "We've taken the risk, we've proven it's possible, and they've gone back to their communities and they’re doing it. So we hope we can be the drop that starts a wave here."
The Park City Council recently waived building permit and site inspection fees for renewable energy projects, to encourage residents and businesses to shift toward electric vehicle use.