Letter: Salt Lake solar panels

Published: Sunday, June 10 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Antonio Urcino, right and Jose Perez install solar panels on the roof of the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

What has happened to intellectual honesty in Utah's news media and local politics? KSL News and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon fail to do the math on the complete cost on the four-year, "largest rooftop solar project in Utah." The installation of 6,006 solar panels on the roof of the Salt Palace Convention Center will cost a whopping $6 million. Why do KSL News and Corroon fail to speak to how long it will take to pay down the $6 million price tag of the project?

After all, taxpaying citizens can't ignore simple economics in their personal budgets. Accepting their statement that the panel array will produce enough electricity to meet the needs of 250 homes every year, at no interest, it will take 18.5 years of savings to pay down that $6 million price tag. But money is not free, another fact taxpaying citizens can't ignore. If you figure in a conservative business loan interest rate of say 6 percent, the $6 million price tag will never be paid down by the savings of 250 homes. But that is all the project will produce. Who is expected to cover the shortfall in payment?

The answer is obvious. They state that a number of tax credits and grants also help offset costs as one level of justification of the project. Well, what is the source of these tax credits and grants they speak of? Another rhetorical question. Going "green" is good, but let's demand intellectual honesty from our local news media and politicians. Tell the whole story so that we can feel confident that that's the way it is rather then wanting for the rest of the story that never comes, which sadly today is the norm.

Scott Olsen

Sandy

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