• 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
next
prev
Sat, Oct 21, 2017
Text Size

Featured

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.

L

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

Mandalay to build 3,000 Arizona homes with solar and Sonnen batteries

(Reuters) - German battery maker Sonnen GmbH on Thursday said it would partner with home builder Mandalay Homes to outfit 3,000 new Arizona homes with batteries to store the excess energy generated by their rooftop solar installations.

A lithium battery unit of the startup "sonnen", formerly known as Sonnenbatterie, is seen in Berlin, Germany, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Mandalay plans to build the homes in Prescott, Arizona with the batteries, which can cost between $10,000 and $20,000. The cost would be part of the home’s sale price and wrapped into the mortgage.

The companies want utilities to pay the homeowners to use the stored power in the 3,000 batteries, which would create a virtual power plant with 8 megawatt hours of electricity, enough to power about 5,000 average homes for a day.

For now however, the project is moving forward without buy-in from utilities. Sonnen’s U.S. arm and Mandalay have been in talks with Pinnacle West Capital Corp’s Arizona Public Service and Salt River Project for a few months, they said.

The community would be the first of its kind in the United States, the companies said, and comes as utilities have been studying the potential benefits of integrating battery storage along distribution grids and decreasing reliance on centralized fossil fuel plants. Sonnen has several such communities in Germany, but the idea is still a novelty in the United States.

Batteries are viewed as especially key in large solar energy markets like Arizona that generate more power than they need during the sunniest times of the day.

Sonnen has about 1,000 home batteries deployed in the United States currently, and aims to get to at least 20,000 by 2020, in part through more deals with homebuilders.

Arizona Public Service would not comment on talks with Sonnen and Mandalay, but said batteries “can provide benefit to both our customers and the grid.”

Salt River Project spokeswoman Kathleen Mascarenas said “no agreements are in the works.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mandalay-sonnen-arizona/mandalay-to-build-3000-arizona-homes-with-solar-and-sonnen-batteries-idUSKBN1CH2S9

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

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
  • 1