Recent Updates

The following items have been recently added or updated:

Some Almost Forgotten Solar History

Berkeley Lab’s “Utility-Scale Solar, 2021 Edition”

Electrification of transportation sector = More Renewable Energy Needed

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) to provide 70% of its energy from solar and wind by 2035

A link to a good article on What You Need to Know to make Sure Your Solar Rooftop is Properly Valued at Time of Sale: Is Solar Sexy When You Sell Your Home?

APS- Residential Battery Pilot Program

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AriSEIA News - Keep up with the latest Arizona solar energy news! 

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AriSEIA, Has published several articles or letters that are of interest to our Arizona solar community:

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 Interesting Arizona Solar Stories

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Interesting Technology Updates -Click on a title below

  • - A radical idea to get a high-renewable electric grid

    This is an interesting approach to optaining very high penetration of renewables such as photovoltaics and wind.  At present most large installations operate under Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) wherein the economics are based on a sell all output at predetermined prices. This contrasts with standalone systems wherein the system size Read More
  • - Breakthrough Batteries Powering the Era of Clean Electrification

    - Breakthrough Batteries Powering the Era of Clean Electrification Battery Storage Costs Drop Dramatically, Making Way to a New Era. A recent Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) report continues to confirm that clean electrification through batteries is advancing at impressive rates. Very interesting report: Breakthrough Batteries- Powering the Era of Clean Electrification Read More
  • - Changes impacting photovoltaic (PV) installations in the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC)

    - Changes impacting photovoltaic (PV) installations in the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC) A look at some of the more significant changes under consideration for the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC) that will affect future distributed generation systems (solar electric wind, etc.). Article 690, Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems and Article 705, being renamed Interconnected Electric Power Production Sources, are specific to distributed generation. Read More
  • - Interesting Technology

    An assortment of links to interesting information   Semiconductor Nanowires Could Double the Efficiency of Silicon Solar Cells A p/n semiconductor junction is not the only way of converting sunshine into useful electrical energy.  Light consists of a flow of photons of various energy levels (colors).  See this article-Solar Cells.  Nanowires Read More
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General News

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Interesting Videos

The Challenge of Closing the Navajo Generating Station coal-fired power plant near Page

The Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona will soon be closed. This is one of the largest coal fired power plants in the U.S and is supplied by a dedicated mine (Kayenta Peabody Mine) about 80 miles east of Page. The plant and mine have provided the Navajo Nation with employment and income, but at high enviromental cost (one of the biggest polluters in the nation). The decision by the plant owners (Salt River Project owns 42.9% of the plant and runs it for the owners, which include the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (24.3%), Arizona Public Service Co. (14%), Tucson Electric Power Co. (11.3%) and NV Energy (7.5%)) was based on the economics of operating the plant. The economics of electrical power generation are changing and coal fired plants are now the most expensive to operate. Renewable sources such as solar and wind, and the low cost of natural gas are causing the early retirement of many coal fired power plants.

The plant was completed in 1975 for a total cost of about $650 million. Since then far more has been spent on polution controls and more would have been needed to continue operations. In addition, the plant and its supply of coal have a major user of water in an arid area.

The main decision to close the plant was made in 2017. A Replacement Lease was negotiated by the Navajo Nation to extend operation to 2019 in the hopes of finding a new owner to continue the operations. On March 21, 2019 Navajo lawmakers voted to end their efforts to acquire the plant and keep it running.

A Navajo Nation brochure in 2017 has a good summary of the situation then. The Replacement Lease was approved and one of the plant assets transferred to the Navajo Nation are the transmission rights. The Navajo Nation or its assignee can use the transmission rights to have electric energy from new solar or other generation sources delivered to markets such as California, Phoenix and Las Vegas. These transmission rights are a valuable new tool that will position the Nation’s movement toward a cleaner energy economy.

There is also a good 2017 summary on High Country News: https://www.hcn.org/articles/the-wests-coal-giant-is-going-down

There is also a good article, funded by NREL, on the potential for solar on the Navajo Nation that pre-dates the decision to close the Navajo Generating Station: Growing Interest in Developing Navajo Utility-Scale Solar Industry.

UPDATE 3-3-19

Utility Drive reported that On Sunday 3-31-19, an Arizona federal judge granted a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that sought to force a state water agency (the Central Arizona Project) to buy coal-fired electricity from this facility.

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/federal-judge-blocks-potential-path-to-viability-for-23-gw-navajo-coal-pla/551885/

The Challenge of the Trump Budget- 2019

The White House as submitted its proposed budget for FY 2020 and it is not pro-renewable  or pro-sustainable by a long shot.  The Budget is titled "A BUDGET FOR A Better America".  For instance, the Budget redefines the Mission of the Department of Energy in part as:

The mission of the Department of Energy (DOE) is to advance U.S. national security and economic growth
through transformative science and technology innovations that promotes affordable and reliable energy
through market solutions, and meets America’s nuclear security and environmental clean-up challenges.

Energy efficiency programs, clean energy and environmental regulations could take deep cuts if President Trump’s proposed budget gets everything what he wants, although it’s politically likely that he will not.

The administration’s fiscal 2020 budget would trim the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office by $1.6 billion, or 70 percent of the fiscal 2019 appropriation. Overall, the DOE requested a $31.7 billion budget, an 11-percent decrease.

The Environmental Protection Agency budget request totaled $6.1 billion, a 31-percent cut from the nearly $9 billion allocated for fiscal 2019, according to reports.

“President Trump’s budget supports the Department’s vast mission in a fiscally responsible way, and makes clear that success will be measured not by the dollars spent but by the results achieved on behalf of the American people,” reads the DOE statement announcing the budget. “It calls for strategic investments in our energy security and national security, supporting America’s continued rise as an energy independent nation. Under President Trump’s leadership we have empowered American energy, with the U.S. becoming the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas, and now exporting LNG to 34 countries across five continents. The budget request also focuses on moving America forward by investing in transformational science, innovation, and technology. The Department of Energy’s National Labs are the crown jewels of America’s innovation and this funding will continue to support their work from Artificial Intelligence to renewables, clean coal and Advanced Nuclear technology. The budget proposal also funds the modernization of our nuclear stockpile, the aging infrastructure that supports it, and ensures a safe and effective system for our nuclear Navy for years to come.”

The statement said funding would continue to support the DOE’s National Labos programs, including work on artificial intelligence, clean coal and renewable energy. It also allocates money for support advanced nuclear energy technology.

Trump’s overall administration budget cut across all fronts except military spending. It also allocated about $8 billion toward building a wall along the border with Mexico.

Energy efficiency took a huge hit. One detail noted by critics of the budget proposal was that, under the plan, the EnergyStar appliance program would be funded entirely from user fees. It could cut the EPA’s vehicle emissions program completely, according to reports.

“This proposal, if enacted, would cause Americans’ energy costs to rise, while killing jobs around the country,” said Steve Nadel, executive director of advocacy group The American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy, in a statement. “Energy efficiency directly supports 2.3 million U.S. jobs and indirectly many more. In addition to putting these jobs at risk, these cuts run counter to the administration’s own goals of promoting economic growth and reducing wasteful spending. We hope Congress will stand up for business owners, workers, and consumers by blocking the proposed 2020 budget cuts.”

The ACEEE statement also said that the DOE's appliance standards, vehicle emissions and building codes programs will save Americans billions of dollars through 2030.

Trump’s budget must go through a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, in which all appropriations bills must begin. In previous years the presidential administration has proposed major cuts to EPA and clean energy programs beyond even what was announced this week.

For instance, two years ago the newly installed Trump Administration proposed 31 percent cuts to EPA funding for fiscal 2018, but the Republican-controlled Congress approved an $8.1 billion budget that kept the agency level with fiscal 2017.

The basic Budget description is available here:

 

Most of the above text is from Electric Power & Light: https://www.elp.com/articles/2019/03/renewable-energy-efficiency-groups-mount-united-front-vs-trump-budget.html

Groups are organizing to resist this budget reduction:

Related article: https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2019/03/renewable-energy-efficiency-groups-mount-united-front-vs-trump-budget.html

 

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  • 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

    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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