• Apply Now For The 2017 AriSEIA Arizona Solar Tour

    AriSEIA’s 2017 Arizona Solar Tour takes place the weekend of Oct 7-8, 2017. Various residential and commercial solar systems across the Valley of the Sun will be open to the public with the system owners and installers present to share their knowledge and experience, and to answer questions regarding the system as well as the process of going solar in Read more
  • Know Your Rights

    Arizona law protects individual homeowners’ private property rights to solar access by dissolving any local covenant, restriction or condition attached to a property deed that restricts the use of solar energy. This law sustained a legal challenge in 2000. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of homeowners in a lawsuit filed by their homeowners association seeking to Read more
  • Agua Caliente PV Power Plant Among World’s Largest

    The Agua Caliente solar farm near Yuma features First Solar’s thin-film cadmium-telluride (CdTe) solar modules. Located 65 miles east of the city of Yuma, Arizona, this plant is one of the world’s largest operational PV power plants with 290MW (AC) connected to the electricity grid. Read more
  • Solar Hot Water

    There are two types of solar water heating systems: active, which have circulating pumps and controls, and passive, which don't. The typical solar water heater is comprised of solar collectors and a well-insulated storage tank. The solar collector is a network of pipes that gathers the sun's energy, transforms its radiation into heat, and then transfers that heat to either Read more
  • Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

    (Information provided by DSIRE - Last reviewed 02/19/2009) Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit State: Federal Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Fuel Cells, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Other Solar Electric Technologies Applicable Sectors: Residential Amount: 30% Maximum Incentive: Solar-electric systems placed in service before 2009: $2,000Solar-electric systems placed in service after 2008: no maximumSolar water heaters placed in service before Read more
  • Solar Building Design in Arizona

    The idea of using the sun to meet the energy needs in our buildings has been with us since the time of the Greeks, with some of the design manifestations even evident in the prehistoric structures of Arizona and the Southwest. There is a great historic tradition for Arizona buildings that utilize our most abundant resource, and the current increases Read more
  • How Not to- Battery Connections

    Photo shows the situation after a battery discharge test at 300 amps was terminated on a 1530 AH IBE battery string when one post melted. During the discharge test all cell voltages are logged. The sum of the cell voltages was 2.73 volts lower than the 48-volt string voltage. This is an average of 118 mv per inter-cell connection, 5-10 Read more
  • 1 Apply Now For The 2017 AriSEIA Arizona Solar Tour
  • 2 Know Your Rights
  • 3 Agua Caliente PV Power Plant Among World’s Largest
  • 4 Solar Hot Water
  • 5 Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
  • 6 Solar Building Design in Arizona
  • 7 How Not to- Battery Connections

Blogs

  1. Solar Center Blog
  2. Guest Blogs
Jim Arwood
28 December 2016

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”  --Winston Churchill

Jim Arwood
24 November 2016

The future is not what it used to be.

In the 1990s, the push for electric vehicles gained momentum in response to national security concerns over our reliance on imported fuels and tailpipe emissions.


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Mon, Sep 25, 2017
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Some things to pay attention to in Arizona

AriSeia Announces the Arizona Energy Futures Conference

"Solar: A Force For Economic Development"
Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 9am to 4pm

Click here for details

APS Rate Case - Higher rates, solar changes now effective as of September 1st

APS customers had until August 31st to submit complete interconnection applications to APS in order to be grandfathered under earlier solar policy.  Basic rates have increased and net metering was eliminated, replaced by a fixed purchase rate that starts at $0.129 per kwhr and will decrease in the future.  Further details are posted in a link below.

Quick APS Links:

News Release (Aug. 15, 2017)
Summary for Residential Customers
Summary for Business Customers
Solar Grandfathering Fact Sheet

The Arizona Solar Center has put together an unofficial summary of the new APS rate schedules for new solar customers, click here.

APS Stakeholder announcement August 21,2017- See Grandfathering

APS Stakeholder announcement Aug 21, 2017

An APS Stakeholder Interconnection Forum has been scheduled for September 21, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We will be meeting at the Ocotillo Training Center, 1701 East Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281. Please enter via the north entrance which is located on the south side of Rio Salado Parkway.

Agenda items:

  • Introductions
  • Public Safety
  • Current Interconnection Information and Updates
  • Engineering Updates
  • Inspections
  • DER

To gain access to the facility, RSVP is required to attend. Please send the names of the individuals attending from your company, email address and phone number for each attendee, to Stakeholder Comments, no later than September 15, 2017.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Web-ex will NOT be available. For those not able to attend, the presentation will be uploaded to the APS website at Renewable Energy Research.

The site address is: 1701 East Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281. Start at McClintock Dr. and Rio Salado Parkway, then head west to first driveway entrance on south side of Rio Salado and enter property.

Sincerely,

APS Renewable Energy Team

Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) Changes Affect Solar Business and Customers

AriSEIA reported this past November that the TPT exemption covering the installation of solar energy systems would expire at the end of the year with new regulations going into effect on January 1, 2017. A bill was introduced in the last session of the Arizona Legislature to make the exception permanent, but it did not receive a hearing. Since there was no bill passed to extend the exemption, the new regulations are in effect.  Below is the notice TEP sent to its contractors:

The First Regular Session of the 53rd Arizona Legislature adjourned last week and we wanted to make you aware of an important change that may affect your tax liability as a solar contractor. As of January 1, 2017, the gross proceeds of sales or gross income derived from a contract to provide and install a solar energy device are now taxable under the State of Arizona’s transaction privilege tax statute (see Arizona Revised Statutes Section 42-5075.B.13). An exemption for this activity had been enacted in 1996 with a sunset date of January 1, 2017. A legislator in UES’ service territory, Senator Sonny Borelli (R - Lake Havasu City), had introduced legislation that would have eliminated the sunset date and made the tax exemption permanent. However, the bill did not receive a hearing and this exemption is no longer effective as of January 1, 2017. Additionally, a policy rider effecting the exemption was not included in the budget signed by Governor Ducey.

From December 31, 1996 and up to January 1, 2017, the gross proceeds of sales or gross income derived from a contract to provide and install a solar energy device (commonly called Sales Tax in Arizona) were exempt.  It appears that this is no longer the situation and sales of solar devices may be subject to sales tax (TPT).  Thank your legislators.

Editorial Note:  A review of the Arizona Revised Statutes http://www.azleg.gov/arstitle/ Title 42-5061 (M) on 6-6-2017 indicates "M. There shall be deducted from the tax base the amount received from sales of solar energy devices.....".  Apparently only contracting is affected by the above TPT change.  Watch this space for updates as the Arizona solar industry researches this subject.

Public Meetings:

General News feed

Caution- News leads open in new windows. Warning- These news links are automatically generated by others such as Google News and are not reviewed by the Arizona Solar Center, Inc. We are not responsible for link content.

Our Twitter Feed

azsolarcenter "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” --Winston... https://t.co/YZUiXLzsKz
azsolarcenter The Sun Day Blog: The future is not what it used to be. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, the question has... https://t.co/lSR5RFewJm
azsolarcenter Novermber 5, 2016 -- APS, pro-solar group together spend $6 million on Arizona Corporation Commission races: The... https://t.co/5xyq4EsoFm
azsolarcenter November 3, 2016 Solar Battles Playing Out On Arizona Ballot This Election: It may not be at the top of the... https://t.co/uYSRxv97YR
azsolarcenter November 4, 2016: Utility spends $3.5 million to keep Arizona Corporation Commission all-GOP: The state’s largest... https://t.co/imqk6z2sDU
azsolarcenter October 25, 2016: 42 States (and DC) try to screw with solar The 50 States of Solar Policy Report by the NC... https://t.co/JBYTzpf2ui
azsolarcenter October 24, 2016 -- Future of independent solar energy at stake in Corporation Commission raceL The long-term... https://t.co/D6jy4I5Ci0
azsolarcenter October 13, 2016 -- State policy matters: It is very easy to get distracted by the dog-and-pony show of this... https://t.co/MH7mEMg9MC
azsolarcenter October 16, 2016: Arizona Corporation Commission DebateL Five candidates running for three open seats on the... https://t.co/tm0XLl6CqG
azsolarcenter My Sun Day blog is posted to the Arizona Solar Center. https://t.co/vRrxwSSQpw
azsolarcenter There is No Plan(et) B: Climate change is no longer an issue that our politicians can kick down the road for... https://t.co/KHZzajZc9K
azsolarcenter High Noon: Nearly 40 years ago, President Carter proclaimed the dawn of the solar age. If President Carter was... https://t.co/JmZSHlmBUI
azsolarcenter High Noon: Nearly 40 years ago, President Carter proclaimed the dawn of the solar age. If President Carter was... https://t.co/rBgkaWKDs6
azsolarcenter High Noon: Nearly 40 years ago, President Carter proclaimed the dawn of the solar age. If President Carter was... https://t.co/RzXaQACpPR
azsolarcenter High Noon: Nearly 40 years ago, President Carter proclaimed the dawn of the solar age. If President Carter was... https://t.co/t1fKNTPwIB
azsolarcenter High Noon: Nearly 40 years ago, President Carter proclaimed the dawn of the solar age. If President Carter was... https://t.co/dWEKk3QR6H
azsolarcenter High Noon: Nearly 40 years ago, President Carter proclaimed the dawn of the solar age. If President Carter was... https://t.co/y4vhOpjfh1
azsolarcenter September 29, 2016: To cover a utility's fixed costs, are demand charges or time-of-use (TOU) rates superior?... https://t.co/RgneQWNKyM
azsolarcenter September 25, 2016: Arizona Public Service not only rejected an Arizona Corporation commissioner’s request to... https://t.co/iip6RwoOOS
azsolarcenter September 22, 2016: The Salt River Project (SRP) board of directors has agreed to purchase energy produced by... https://t.co/xYegEuiI43
azsolarcenter September 18, 2016: UniSource Energy officials have shelved plans to use of land surroundingMohave Community... https://t.co/eXmHxo03wQ
azsolarcenter September 13, 2016: The city of Sedona spent about 90 minutes at its September 13 council meeting discussing... https://t.co/LHV2QcsvYt
azsolarcenter September 15, 2016: New solar research projects at Arizona State University will receive $3.75 million in funding... https://t.co/N20NYLWxGy
azsolarcenter September 25, 2016: The parable of the frog and boiling water is hundreds of years old. It has been used... https://t.co/O5PYqvxIJg

Summary of Residential Rate Plans for APS Customers with an On-Site Distributed Generation System

Summary of Residential Rate Plans for APS Customers with an On-Site Distributed Generation System

(Interconnect applications submitted after August 31, 2017)

 

This is not an official APS document, it is a summary of residential rate plans for APS customers with an on-site distributed generation system put together by the Arizona Solar Center from the August 19, 2017 rate schedules posted at https://www.aps.com/en/ourcompany/ratesregulationsresources/serviceplaninformation/Pages/residential-sheets.aspx.  See the actual rates by following the links at the above APS web page link. These are the charges for energy purchased from APS, see below for backfeed credits (exports of power to the grid).

 

 

APS Rate Plan - Customers with an on-site distributed generation system

Bundled rates

SAVER CHOICE

SAVER CHOICE PLUS

SAVER CHOICE MAX

SAVER CHOICE TECH

(Note 2)

Basic Daily Service

$0.427

$0.427

$0.427

$0.427

Energy Charges- per kWh

 

 

 

 

On-Peak Energy Charge-Summer

$0.24314

$0.13160

$0.08683

$0.05750

Winter

$0.23068

$0.11017

$0.06376

$0.04750

Off-Peak Energy Charge-Summer

$0.10873

$0.07798

$0.05230

$0.04750

Winter

$0.10873

$0.07798

$0.05230

$0.04750

Super Off-Peak Energy Charge

(November through April)

$0.03200

n/a

n/a

n/a

 

 

 

 

 

Demand Charges per kW (Note 1)

 

 

 

 

On-Peak Demand Charge:-Summer

none

$8.40

$17.438

$20.25

Winter

none

$8.40

$12.239

$14.25

Off-Peak Demand Charge:-Summer

none

none

none

$6.50

All above 5 kW

Winter

none

none

none

$6.50

All above 5 kW

 

 

 

 

 

Grid Access Charge per kW-dc of generation (Monthly fee)

$0.93

$0.93

$0.93

$0.93

APS Purchase Rates- per kWh

 

 

 

 

September 1, 2017 through

August 31, 2018

(Future rates to be determined)

$0.1290

$0.1290

$0.1290

$0.1290

 

Rate Periods for the above:

The On-Peak time period for residential rate schedules is 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through

Friday year round. Off-Peak time period is the rest of the day and holidays.

The Super Off-Peak period is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and applies to those plans with a rate shown above.

 

Holidays for Off-Peak:

  • New Year’s Day - January 1*
  • Martin Luther King Day - Third Monday in January
  • Presidents Day - Third Monday in February
  • Cesar Chavez Day - March 31*
  • Memorial Day - Last Monday in May
  • Independence Day - July 4*
  • Labor Day - First Monday in September
  • Veterans Day - November 11*
  • Thanksgiving - Fourth Thursday in November
  • Christmas Day - December 25*

*If these holidays fall on a Saturday, the preceding Friday will be Off-peak. If they fall on a

Sunday, the following Monday will be Off-Peak.

 

APS Residential bills will include the following adjustments:

  1. The Renewable Energy Adjustment Charge, Adjustment Schedule REAC-1. (
  2. The Power Supply Adjustment charge, Adjustment Schedule PSA-1.
  3. The Transmission Cost Adjustment charge, Adjustment Schedule TCA-1.
  4. The Environmental Improvement Surcharge, Adjustment Schedule EIS.
  5. The Demand Side Management Adjustment charge, Adjustment Schedule DSMAC-1.
  6. The Lost Fixed Cost Recovery Adjustment charge, Adjustment Schedule LFCR.
  7. The Tax Expense Adjustor Mechanism charge, Adjustment Schedule TEAM.
  8. Direct Access customers returning to Standard Offer service may be subject to a Returning Customer Direct Access Charge, Adjustment Schedule RCDAC-1.
  9. Any applicable taxes and governmental fees that are assessed on APS’s revenues, prices, sales volume, or generation volume.

And these Rate riders:

  • CPP -(RES) Critical Peak Pricing (Residential)
  • EPR-2 -  Partial Requirements
  • EPR-6 -  Partial Requirements – Net Metering (Residential Non-Solar)
  • RCP - Resource Comparison Proxy (This is for solar generation exports of power to the grid)
  • E-3 -  Limited income discount
  • E-4 -  Limited income medical discount
  • GPS-1, GPS-2, GPS-3   Green Power

 

Notes:

  1. The kW used to determine the demand charge above will be the Customer's highest amount of demand (kW) averaged in a one-hour On-Peak period for the billing month.
  2. The  SAVER CHOICE TECH rate schedule is available to residential Customers with the following:
    1. 1. Two or more qualifying primary on-site technologies purchased within 90 days of the customer enrolling in the rate; or
    2. 2. One qualifying primary on-site technology purchased within 90 days of the customer enrolling in the rate and two or more qualifying secondary on-site technologies.

 

 

Eclipse Effect on Mesa PV System

This is a plot of PV system output on August 21, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona.  Note the morning dip caused by the partial eclipse. The red line is the calculated average for the date, based on historical data.

Sonnen Signs a Deal to Put Storage in New Arizona Housing Developments

There is a point at which it will make economic sense to defect from the electrical grid

More than 1 million US homes have solar systems installed on their rooftops. Batteries are set to join many of them, giving homeowners the ability to not only generate but also store their electricity on-site. And once that happens, customers can drastically reduce their reliance on the grid.

It's great news for those receiving utility bills. It's possible armageddon for utilities.

A new study by the consulting firm McKinsey modeled two scenarios: one in which homeowners leave the electrical grid entirely, and one in which they obtain most of their power through solar and battery storage but keep a backup connection to the grid.

Given the current costs of generating and storing power at home, even residents of sunny Arizona would not have much economic incentive to leave the electric-power system completely - full grid-defection, as McKinsey refers to it -until around 2028. But partial defection, where some homeowners generate and store 80% to 90% of their electricity on site and use the grid only as a backup, makes economic sense as early as 2020.

This scenario is already playing out in Australia and Hawaii, and has begun spreading to solar-friendly markets such as Arizona, California, Nevada, and New York. As batteries get cheaper and better, utilities are rattled at the prospect of losing a massive share of their revenue.

A self-reinforcing cycle is at work. As consumers make their own energy, rates must increase on those left to cover the system's fixed costs. This raises rates still further, making it even more advantageous for customers to leave the grid.

Instead of adapting to this dynamic, utilities have generally sought to stifle solar with time-of-use pricing, demand charges, or cutting compensation for electricity exported back to the grid.

But as daily needs for many are supplied instead by solar and batteries, McKinsey predicts the electrical grid will be repurposed as an enormous, sophisticated backup. Utilities would step up and supply power during the few days or weeks per year when distributed systems run out of juice. Our analysis helps show the grid is very valuable as a backup investment, says Amy Wagner, a co-author of the McKinsey report.

Only, the business models of utilities are not designed for this. Their revenue typically depends on selling kilowatt hours: more electricity equals more money for utilities. Power users don't respond quickly to daily price spikes in their power bill, so ratepayers absorb electricity costs. That goes away in a world where software managing a grid connection can automatically switch to batteries to avoid high charges. A new business model is needed.

The only way to pay for the grid is as a network, said McKinsey's David Frankel, a co-author of the report. "It's very counter to what the industry has seen." Instead of paying per kilowatt, he suggests, grid users could pay for access and reliability, with one fee covering the vast majority of usage. The model might resemble the fixed, monthly charges we're used to paying for cell phone data and calls.

At the moment, only a tiny fraction of utility customers have left the grid or installed batteries. But it's happening faster than was expected several years ago. Solar panels and battery prices are dropping fast - lithium-ion batteries have fallen from $1,000 to $230 per kilowatt-hour since 2010 - as massive new solar and battery factories come online in China and the US. By 2020, Greentech Media projects, homes and businesses will have more battery storage for energy (841 megawatts of capacity) than utilities themselves.

Utilities may find they need to retool their business models sooner than they think.

From

https://qz.com/1017457/there-is-a-point-at-which-it-will-make-economic-sense-to-defect-from-the-electrical-grid/

About

  • Welcome to the Arizona Solar Center

     This is your source for solar and renewable energy information in Arizona. Explore various technologies, including photovoltaics, solar water heating, solar architecture, solar cooking and wind power. Keep up to date on the latest industry news. Follow relevant lectures, expositions and tours. Whether you are a homeowner looking to become more energy efficient, a student learning the science behind the technologies or an industry professional, you will find valuable information here.
  • About The Arizona Solar Center

    Arizona Solar Center Mission- The mission of the Arizona Solar Center is to enhance the utilization of renewable energy, educate Arizona's residents on solar technology developments, support commerce and industry in the development of solar and other sustainable technologies and coordinate these efforts throughout the state of Arizona. About the Arizona Solar Center- The Arizona Solar Center (AzSC) provides a broad-based understanding of solar energy, especially as it pertains to Arizona. Registered Read More
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