Thanksgiving Point’s Museum of Ancient Life soon will remove the Legend Solar sign from its outer building walls.
Almost one year to the day, Thanksgiving Point officials announced last week that it is dissolving the deal struck with Legend Solar last April.
When the agreement was announced last year, Legend Solar promised to install 1,500 solar panels over a decade, starting in January 2018. Upon completion, the project would have generated 450 kilowatts of power and provided the museum with a savings of $1.5 million in power bills during the lifetime of the panels.
Josh Berndt, director of communications at Thanksgiving Point, said Legend Solar also promised to donate $2 million in support of Thanksgiving Point. He was unsure, Tuesday, of how much that amount had come in, but confirmed that solar panels have not been installed on the museum’s roof. Museum executives had hoped to reduce the museum’s energy cost and reduce its carbon footprint with this arrangement.
“Legend Solar was met with some financial challenges and both parties agreed to suspend the sponsorship, so they can focus on their core business operations to ensure a healthy, viable company,” Berndt said. “This became official April 10. The signs on the Museum of Ancient Life will be removed from the building.”
According to an announcement on Legend Solar’s website, the company is experiencing a cashflow problem due to “the dramatic down turn in our market stemming from the year-long negotiation with Rocky Mountain Power (PacificCorp), a year-long shut down in Nevada coupled with complex re-licensing requirements there, and the impending federal solar panel tariff that has finally been announced.”
Thanksgiving Point’s plight is not isolated. According to a March 22 article in the St. George Daily Spectrum, Legend Solar also pulled out of a deal with Dixie State University for naming rights on their stadium. The company did not install solar panels or make its promised donation there either.
Founded in 2012, Legend Solar seemed to be on a growth path in the solar panel industry, notably winning two Best of State awards just last August. But recently the company’s business license has come into question with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
Legend Solar has offices in St. George, Pleasant Grove and Bountiful, but both the Pleasant Grove and Bountiful offices appear closed. Calls to the headquarters went unanswered, with a recording saying business hours are only 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Berndt said Thanksgiving Point’s efforts to go green have not faltered, and they are “always looking for community partners and sponsors, solar companies and beyond.”
“Our hope is to re-engage with Legend Solar in the future,” he added.