• 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 Know Your Rights
  • 2 Agua Caliente PV Power Plant Among World’s Largest
  • 3 Solar Hot Water
  • 4 Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
  • 5 Solar Building Design in Arizona
  • 6 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.


Will add Guest Blog content here
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017
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Some things to pay attention to in Arizona

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 (also see the note below for additional information)

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

On August 21st APS emailed the following information to Stakeholders (but it does not seem to be on the APS website):

Stakeholders,

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has approved a decision in our rate review, and we are happy to share some details with you affecting our solar customers. We appreciate your support in delivering this message to customers and will be glad to help you with any questions you may have. For your reference, attached are letters that were sent to customers regarding grandfathering. Other resources are available at aps.com/gosolar.

Grandfathering

  • Current solar customers that are interconnected to the APS grid will remain grandfathered for 20 years from the date of interconnection.
    • The grandfathering stays with the premise. Systems transferred to a new premise will require a new application, and the customer would no longer be eligible for EPR-6.
    • Over the terms of the grandfathering period, a customer may not increase the capacity of their grandfathered solar system by more than a total of 10% or 1 kW, whichever is greater.
  • Customers who submit a complete application by 11:59 p.m. August 31, 2017 will be eligible for grandfathering. The system would need to be installed and have AHJ approval by February 28, 2018 in order to qualify. A complete application includes all of the following:
    • Customer Application
    • Executed Contract
    • Disclaimer
    • Consumer Acknowledgement
    • Installer Application
    • Three Line Diagram
    • Site Plan

Public Meetings:

Green Building Lecture - Economic Value of Green: Knowledge is EmPOWERing

Scottsdale’s Green Building Lecture season kicks off with a panel of industry leaders on the economic value of green. 
 
These free programs run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the dates listed below at the Granite Reef Senior Center, 1700 N. Granite Reef Road. RSVPs are not needed.

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The lecture series includes:

  • Dec. 7 –Solar Energy & Storage Battery Systems
  • Feb. 1, 2018 – Living an Edible Landscape Life
  • April 5, 2018 – Building with earth and Mass in the Desert 
  • June 7, 2018 – Heating and Cooling with Ductless Mini-Splits

Further information on this worthwhile program

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

Arizona utility signs game-changing deal cutting solar power prices in half

Arizona solar array. CREDIT: Tucson Electric Power.

Tucson Electric Power to buy new solar power at under 3 cents per kWh, a “historically low price.”

Remarkable drops in the cost of solar and wind power have effectively turned the global power market upside down in recent years.

We’ve seen prices for new solar farms below 3 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) in other countries for over a year now, but before this week, not in the U.S. That changed on Monday when Tucson Electric Power (TEP), an Arizona utility company, announced that it had reached an agreement to buy solar power at the same game-changing price.

TEP says that this is a “historically low price” for a 100-megawatt system capable of powering 21,000 homes — and that the sub-3-cents price is “less than half as much as it agreed to pay under similar contracts in recent years.”

For context, the average U.S. residential price for electricity is nearly 13 cents per kwh, and the average commercial price is 10.5 cents.

NextEra Energy Resources will build and operate the system, which also includes “a long duration battery storage system” (whose price is not included in the 3 cents/kwh). Also worth noting: The sub-3-cents contracts that have been signed in other countries such as Chile, Dubai, and Mexico are unsubsidized, whereas U.S. prices include the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit.

PV Magazine reports “this is the lowest price” they’ve seen for solar yet in this country. And Bloomberg New Energy Finance chair Michael Liebreich explained last month that thanks to recent price drops, “unsubsidized wind and solar can provide the lowest cost new electrical power in an increasing number of countries, even in the developing world — sometimes by a factor of two.”

The TEP contract is one more sign that the renewable revolution is unstoppable.

Source: https://thinkprogress.org/arizona-utility-game-changing-solar-deal-8e7c0bcb093a

Arizona Court of Appeals rules no property tax for rooftop solar panels

Thursday (May 18, 2017) the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that companies leasing rooftop systems to homeowners should not be subjected to a new set of property taxes that the Department of Revenue only recently sought to impose on these businesses.

The ruling upheld a lower court judgment in part and reversed the tax court in part as well. The court ruled the state’s Department of Revenue incorrectly determined in 2013 a leased rooftop solar system should be subject to property tax by misinterpreting the laws that say otherwise.

Rooftop solar companies, SolarCity and SunRun sued the department, arguing the panels were designed primarily for customers’ own on-site consumption, not in the operation of an electric generation facility that sends electricity to customers over transmission and distribution lines.

The Department of Revenue reinterpreted the state’s law in 2013 and started valuing property for taxation for the first time, after thousands of panels had been leased without being assessed for taxation purposes.

From Rose Law Group: Court of Appeals rules no property tax for rooftop solar panels

(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents one of the taxpayers that prevailed in this ruling.)

Solar Eclipse to Hammer U.S. Grid in August

Put this on your calendar!

The morning of Monday, August 21, 2017, a total eclipse of the sun will occur and is expected to have a dramatic impact on the electric grid in the U.S. The path of totality will extend from South Carolina on the East Coast to Oregon on the West Coast. California's San Juaquin and Coachella valleys, both key solar producing regions, will see coverage of around 76% and 62%, respectively. And, although it will be spared the full impact, California is planning for the potential of major disruptions in its grid as the production of electricity from photovoltaic installations falls from a normal level of over 8,700MW to 5,600MW while demand is rising by 1,300MW primarily due to the increased use of electric lights.

Worse-case estimates by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) predict as much as a 4,200MW reduction in solar generation. Regardless of the actual decrease, the rate of change will be significantly higher than the system was designed to handle and will be a particularly difficult-to-manage problem. The typical ramp rate for the grid at sunrise and sunset is about 29MW per minute. The ramp rate during the eclipse is forecast to be 70MW per minute during the drop off and nearly 100MW per minute during the ending phase of the eclipse.

The rapid return of PV electricity at the end of the eclipse (3X the rate the grid is designed to handle under typical conditions) is expected to be particularly difficult for the grid to absorb without going into an overload condition. As a result, CAISO is working to coordinate a “ramp up plan” that will place limits on how quickly PV power can be ramped up from the peak of the eclipse at about 10:22 a.m. until the end of the eclipse at 11:56 a.m., possibly extending into early afternoon.

Behind-the-meter solar generation will be particularly hard to control and hence its impact will be difficult to estimate. Currently CAISO is obtaining behind the meter solar generation forecasts as well as large scale solar generation forecasts from two forecast service providers. The providers will be producing a forecast accounting for the solar eclipse that will automatically feed through the ISOs daily processes. The aggregate forecast for large scale solar will be available to the market participants, as well as public, through the OASIS applications.

Knowing that the critical information needed to have the most accurate forecast possible will be feeding into the market optimization as well as other processes will assist greatly in optimizing the market with the solar eclipse. In addition to the above some of the additional actions and processes to be followed will include:

  • Reserves procurement: Due to the predicted movement of the transmission connected solar resources CAISO plans to commit an increased amount regulation up and regulation down to assist with the increased ramp rate of the resources. The available regulation resources will be increased to 400MW from the normal level of 250MW.
  • Hydro Generation Usage: Due to the above average hydro year this water season it is expected that come August California will still have availability for hydro to carry regulation and/or energy during the eclipse. CAISO will be working with the hydro community and inform participants of the additional need for flexibility on August 21st due to the eclipse to assist with that flexibility being available to the market optimization.
  • EIM (Energy Imbalance Market) Transfers: The EIM provides a mechanism to share and diversify resources to assist in more enhanced management of the solar eclipse moving across the Western United States. Due to the forecasts for behind the meter and large scale renewable resources being in the market optimization, the EIM transfers will be optimized through the market dispatch. It will be important that all EIM participants account for the solar eclipse effects on their solar renewable resource forecasts in their base schedules that are being submitted by their forecast service providers as well. The Pacificorp EMI is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy. Pacific Power (PACW), its western arm, serves electricity customers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and California. Rocky Mountain Power (PACE), its eastern arm, serves Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. Nevada and Arizona operate independently as participants in the Western states EMI.
  • Gas Coordination: CAISO will coordinate with Southern California gas and thermal generators to ensure they have procured enough gas to handle generation deviations during the day of the solar eclipse.
  • Outage Coordination: CAISO will be analyzing the impacts of scheduled generator and transmission outages prior to approving for August 21st.

Future events like the August eclipse have the potential to be even more disastrous. Today, California uses about half of U.S. solar capacity and about 10 percent of the state’s electricity is from PV; enough to power Los Angeles. A new estimate from the U.S. government shows that California met its goal to produce about half the state's electricity from renewable sources for three hours on March 11. The estimate comes from the U.S. Department of Energy's statistics division.

The U.S. Department of Energy's statistics division used data from the CAISO, which manages the electricity grid across 80 percent of California and part of Nevada. The record was set when almost 40 percent of the electricity flowing across the grid came from large-scale solar power plants. Factor in electricity produced by area homes and businesses, and solar met about half the overall electricity demand in the middle of the day. California aims to have 50 percent of all electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.

http://www.powerpulse.net/story.php?storyID=37096

 

Arizona's Renewable Energy Future

The Status of Renewable Resources and Development in Arizona

The following was prepared for and presented to David Garman, Assistant Secretary of Energy of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, at the Southwest Renewable Energy Fair in Flagstaff, Arizona in August 2003.

The presentation summarizes the measurement of renewable resources and the status of their development in Arizona, as well as the effectiveness of the state Environmental Portfolio Standard. The material contained in the presentation was current as of August 2003.

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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