• New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance

    While there is a growing market for organic solar cells ­­– they contain materials that are cheaper, more abundant, and more environmentally friendly than those used in typical solar panels – they also tend to be less efficient in converting sunlight to electricity than conventional solar cells. Now, scientists who are members of the Center for Computational Study of Excited-State Phenomena in Energy Materials (C2SEPEM) a new 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 force the homeowners to remove Read More
  • Home Battery Systems

    Rooftop solar panels are common in Arizona thanks to abundant sunshine, but to get even more use from the technology, homeowners are beginning to pair them with large home batteries. Batteries allow homeowners to store their surplus electricity, rather than send it to the grid in exchange for credit from their electric company. 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 water or a heat-transfer fluid. Read More
  • Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

    (Information provided by DSIRE - Last reviewed 02/19/2009) The information below is somewhat dated, the incentives have been extended, but reduced.  See our more up to date article. 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:   26% Maximum Incentive:   Solar-electric systems 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 in The idea of using 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 mv is the normal range Read More
  • 1 New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance
  • 2 Know Your Rights
  • 3 Home Battery Systems
  • 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
Brian Czech
17 February 2019

What’s Really Green and What’s Really New

Ask Americans what the Green New Deal is all about, and you’ll get two basic answers. Most often you’ll hear, “It’s about moving to renewable energy in order to fight climate change.” You’ll also hear, from a camp further right, “It’s all about socialism!”

Lucy Mason
06 January 2018

Wishing you a wonderful and Happy New Year!

The year 2017 has gone by quickly, and AriSEIA has accomplished a full and active agenda to further solar and renewable energy in Arizona. 


Events

Featured (Note- Articles below shift Left-Right)

Some things to pay attention to in Arizona


Arizona Legislature 

The Arizona Legislature's session had many energy bills to oppose (HB2248, SB1175, HB2737 in particular).  These died at the end of the session, but the concepts could be presented in the future.

Status of 2021 Session Bills:
DEAD-HB 2248: Corporation Commission; Electric Generation Resources
Alarm bells are ringing by environmentalists over HB2248 (and Senate bill 1175). These would prohibit “Arizona Corporation Commission from adopting or enforcing any policy, decision or rule that directly or indirectly regulates critical electric generation resources used or acquired by public service corporations within Arizona’s energy grid without express legislative authorization. (Sec. 1) 2.” The bill cripples the ACC from doing its job. (Kerr, Gowan, Gray and others). The House passed a Senate committee 6-4 but was caught up in committee when the Legislature adjourned.

DEAD-SB 1175: Corporation Commission; Electric Generation Resources
See above.

DEAD-HB 2737: Corporation Commission Actions; Investigation
Dead. Environment – HB2737, would allow any lawmaker to order Arizona’s Attorney General to investigate the Arizona Corporation Commission and to require 10% of the commission’s operating budget to be withheld if the AZ Supreme Court determines this agency has exceeded its statutory authority or is not executing or enforcing statute. Sponsored by Jacqueline Parker (R-16). Probably aimed at curbing the ACC environmental regulations. Passed Committee of the Whole but not voted on in time.

Thanks to all who voiced their opposition to the above bills. It is imperative that we convey the negative impact passing bills such as these will have on the regulatory certainty that companies rely on to locate, relocate and grow. We need to protect our state’s economy, our health and our future. Email your representatives.

Here is a link to find your representatives

 

Arizona Corporation Commission 

PHOENIX – The Arizona Corporation Commission will be holding two telephonic oral proceedings next week to solicit public comment on its proposed Energy Rules. The telephonic oral proceedings will be held on Monday August 16 and Thursday August 19 at 10 a.m. Written public comments can be filed into the docket until August 20, 2021.

At a May 26, 2021 Special Open Meeting the Corporation Commission voted 3-2 to advance an amended package of Energy Rules. Due to the substantive changes made by various amendments, the rules are now moving through a supplemental rulemaking process which provides for additional public comment opportunities. Commission Utilities Division Staff will then file a response to comments received and a revised Economic Impact Statement by September 20, 2021. Following the Staff Report, an Administrative Law Judge will prepare a new Recommended Opinion and Order which will come back before the Commission for a final vote sometime this fall.

To participate in the oral proceedings, dial 1-888-450-5996, to speak use passcode 457395#, and to listen only use passcode 4208475#. You may file written comments into docket number RU-00000A-18-0284. To watch live visit azcc.gov/live.

On August 12, 2021 the Office of Arizona Corporation Commission Chairwoman Lea Márquez Peterson released an interesting summary of the average future bill impact to residential customers  up to 2050, depending on the utility and the amount of emission reductions that each utility achieves within that time.  Worth a read.

PHOENIX - Several clean energy proposals are currently pending before the Arizona Corporation Commission. After several months, the Commission has received an independent analysis of at least two of these proposals: 100 percent zero-emission energy by 2050 and 80 percent clean energy by 2050. 

Link to the full summary

On May 26th 2021, the Arizona Corporation Commission reconsidered and passed a Clean Energy Rules package. The energy rules package includes 100% carbon-free energy in Arizona by 2070. And the carbon reductions are requirements and not goals.

Revised carbon emissions reductions levels by the following:
• 50% by December 31, 2032
• 65% by December 31, 2040
• 80% by December 31, 2050
• 95% by December 31, 2060
• 100% by December 31, 2070

Most importantly, the passed rules retained all the beneficial policies and requirements around storage and distributed storage. Specifically, the rules include a 35% energy efficiency requirement, which is the nation’s first distributed storage/solar requirement, preferential treatment for energy procurement from coal-impacted communities and tribes, as well as a complete rewrite of the IRP rules that will require the Commission to approve, rather than acknowledge a preferred portfolio of resources.

This is not yet final, as a result of substantive changes made to the original Recommended Opinion and Order, the amended energy rules package will be sent back through the formal rulemaking process. An updated schedule will be implemented that will allow for written comments and public comment on the record. Interested parties can submit formal written comments to the docket beginning July 9, 2021 through August 20, 2021. Public comment sessions will be held on August 16 and 19, 2021, at 10am.

The passage of the Energy Rules as they presently stand reflects a significant win for ratepayers, for the people of Arizona and for the Solar Energy Industry.

See also Materials Presented by the Joint Stakeholders at the Commission's March 2020 Energy Rules Workshop

The Nature Conservancy has submitted their report "Arizona Thrives - A Path to a Healthy and Prosperous Future" to the ACC. Interesting.

APS has submitted their report,  The Solar Center has slightly reformatted this report by rotating the pages for easier viewing.  APS has provided two presentations to address the ACC questions. Worth a read.

Update July 30, 2020: 

When the Arizona utility regulators met to decide these issues they deadlocked over whether they should increase the state's requirements for renewable energy. It proved not possible to obtain the agreement of at least three commissioners, the meeting was adjourned.

See the Arizona Republic article on this:  Arizona utility regulators hit roadblock on clean-energy rules, abruptly end meeting.

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has released the Notice of Final Rulemaking Interconnection of Distributed Generation FacilitiesInterconnection of Distributed Generation Facilities document.

With this rulemaking, the Commission adds a new Article 26, entitled " Interconnection. of Distributed Generation Facilities" to 14 A.A.C. 2, the Chapter containing the Commission's rules for fixed utilities, with the new Article 26 including 28 new rules. The rules for Interconnection of Distributed Generation Facilities ("DGI Rules") establish mandatory technical standards, processes, and timelines for utilities to use for· interconnection and parallel operation of different types of distributed generation ("DG") facilities; customer and utility rights and responsibilities; provisions for disconnection of DG facilities from the distribution system; specific safety requirements; more flexible standards for electric cooperatives; a reporting requirement; and a requirement for each utility to create, submit for initial approval and submit for approval periodically and when revised, and implement and comply with a Commission-approved Interconnection Manual.

The first dozen pages are basically legal stuff.  The document defines how an utility must review, then accept/reject/etc. an application to connect distributed generation to the utility.  It defines both customer rights and utility procedures.  There are a lot of utility, installer and customer comments along with the ACC staff recomendations. 

 Municipality Info

 

PhoenixFireLogo sm

The City of Phoenix is now (January 2020) requiring a special permit from the Fire Department for most solar systems and batteries.  The fees and required plans varies with size and content.  See this link for an application and details:  https://www.phoenix.gov/firesite/Documents/Solar Photovoltaic OTC Bundle Rev 01-2020.pdf

This is in addition to a building permit from the Planning & Development Department and must be separately obtained at a different address (150 South 12th Street) or on-line via the above link. Also noted is that residential PV permits are no longer over the counter and as of March 2020 are estimated to take 29 working days to process.  Separate inspections are required.

The code requirements are contained in Phoenix-Chapter 12 BESS R-3-1.pdf

Also note: All Phoenix solar building permits are now electronic submittal only. Contact the Electronic Plan Review (EPR) Triage Team at 602-534-5933 or epr.support@phoenix.gov. For more information on EPR, visit us at https://www.phoenix.gov/pdd/onlineservices/electronic-plan-review.

Related: PV Rapid Shutdown Signage- Phoenix

.

 At the Federal Level

New information coming soon 

Utility Information


Arizona Public Service Co. has introduced a Residential Battery Pilot Program, starting October 4, 2021.

The pilot will be available to APS residential customers who install residential battery systems, enroll in a TOU (Time of Use) or TOU-plus-demand service plan and commit to discharging their batteries during on-peak periods. (Note: Rate requirements are waived for customers on grandfathered solar rates.) The pilot will help APS learn about battery performance in a variety of conditions and how batteries may create value for customers through improved management of energy demand at their residence and help reduce stress on the electric grid.

Full Article

Arizona Public Service Co. has announced that it plans to produce all of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050 and will get 45% of its power from renewable sources like solar and wind by the end of this decade.

This is a good improvement from the point of view of sustainable energy.  There are still a lot of details to be worked out such as the role that distributed energy will take.  Will APS APS improve its policies in regard to residential and small commercial systems.

There are several good news articles and the APS press releases on this announcement:

APS:APS sets course for 100 percent clean energy future

Arizona Republic: APS will eliminate carbon emissions by 2050 and close coal plant ahead of schedule, CEO says

The Washington Post: Arizona’s biggest utility says it will get all of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050

 

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) plans to provide more than 70 percent of its power from wind and solar resources as part of a cleaner energy portfolio that will reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2035.

TEP has filed its integrated resource plan (IRP) with the Arizona Corporation Commission, outlining plans for 2.5GW of new solar and wind over the next 15 years and 1.4GW of energy storage capacity as it progressively shutters its coal power stations.

See the TEP Press Release for more information: https://www.tep.com/news/tep-plans-clean-energy-expansion-carbon-reduction/

TEP customers intending to install a new PV system now need to check that their system can be safely installed and connected to TEP’s grid.

TEP now has service areas that are saturated with PV systems where new PV systems are subject to additional review and requirements under Arizona’s Distributed Generation Interconnection Rules. TEP has prepared DG Saturation Maps showing these areas.

This further described at https://www.tep.com/get-started-with-solar/

This requirement stems from the recent Distributed Generation Interconnection Rules issued by the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Further information is available at:Interconnection of Distributed Generation Facilities

Update: See the related article on tucson.com: New state rules limit rooftop solar systems in some Tucson neighborhoods

 

 

  

Interesting Technology Updates;

 

 

 

 


Other Announcements

Interesting Videos

Time to Act for our Earth

From JULY 2019 AZIPL NEWSLETTER

WRITE A LETTER…SPEAK OUT FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY

We urge you to join us in advocating for renewable energy and energy efficacy. Please consider adapting the letter below.  You can make it your own.  Email the letter to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by July 27th, before the July 30th hearing at the Arizona Corporation Commission, and we will deliver it for you. 
 
Also, we encourage you to attend the Stakeholder Hearing at 10 am on Tuesday, July 30th at the Arizona Corporation Commission, 1200 W. Washington St., Phoenix.  The more who gather to advocate for renewable energy and energy efficacy, the better our chances of success.

Further information and a model letter on the AZIPL link at: It's Time to Act for our Earth
 

Arizona HOA demands extra cash for solar-panel review

In Arizona it is common for homeowners associations (HOA) to require homeowners or their contractors to obtain the HOA's permission to install a solar system.  There is usually a minor fee.  At least one HOA has taken this to an extreem, charging for an architect to review the plans and installation for $1500 ($500, to have an architect review plans, plus a $1,000 refundable deposit to ensure the installation happens as submitted.).

Tim Steller of the Arizona Daily Star has a good article on this situation:Steller column: HOA demands extra cash for solar-panel review

 

Some things to pay attention to in Arizona-Temp1

Reminder- Arizona tax credit information is available here: Arizona Tax Incentives


Seeking Arizona agriculture producers who are using small solar systems in their operations in Arizona

Dr. Bonnie Eberhardt Bobb, Executive Director of the Western Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, is looking for agriculture producers who are using small solar systems in their operations in Arizona who might be willing to help her with preparing ACC testimony, discussion with representatives, writing letters of support, signing petitions, etc. to further their goal of increased renewables in agriculture. She would love to hear from ag producers and listen to their stories of how solar has benefited their operations. Thank you so much. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you can assist.

Arizona Corporation Commission 

See our information on PROPOSED RULEMAKING REGARDING INTERCONNECTION OF DISTRIBUTED GENERATION FACILITIESPROPOSED RULEMAKING REGARDING INTERCONNECTION OF DISTRIBUTED GENERATION FACILITIES

SRP Solar Information

SRP approves rate decrease as directors argue about solar power and batteries.

During March 2019, SRP wrapped up their public pricing process at a final rate setting board hearing.
The board approved new rates for SRP customers, which will translate to a $1 to $4 decrease in monthly bills.
The board also voted to lower rates for solar customers, approve three new options for solar customers, and adopt a new battery/storage incentive.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/energy/2019/03/25/salt-river-project-decreases-rates-customers-but-solar-debate-rages/3245669002/.

APS Solar Information

APS announces 2018 ended with 16,479 applications and 14,818 installations: 

APS 2018 PV

Note: APS applications peak in August due to deadlines to freeze APS purchase rates for 10 years.

FRAUD ALERT Click to see details 

A picture of the “Public Notice” is below:
A picture of the improperly modified county seal used by the “Solar Initiative” is below:

 


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/

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

    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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