• 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) 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 2009: $2,000Solar water heaters placed 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. 


Featured

Some things to pay attention to in Arizona


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 drbonnie2002@yahoo.com if you can assist.

Arizona Corporation Commission 

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

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 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

Attorney General Warns About Deceptive “Solar Initiative” Flyers

PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich issued a warning today about deceptive flyers appearing on residences in the Phoenix area that promote a solar energy effort.

The flyers claim to be a “Public Notice” from the “Maricopa County Solar Initiative,” and claim that “Arizona and the Federal Government ITC (26 USC § 25D) are paying to have solar energy systems installed on qualified homes in this neighborhood.” The flyers tell consumers to call to schedule their “site audits.” Consumers who call are subjected to a solar sales pitch by a private company. In addition, the Maricopa County Solar Initiative’s website improperly uses a modified version of the county seal, but the “Solar Initiative” is linked to a private business and is not associated with the county. The “Solar Initiative” is also not registered to do business in Arizona.

Similar flyers previously appeared in Clark County, Nevada, this summer, and law enforcement officials there have warned that the “Clark County Solar Initiative” notices are deceptive.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has aggressively prosecuted businesses masquerading as government agencies, including obtaining consent judgments against “Mandatory Poster Agency” and “Compliance Filings Service,” resulting in full restitution for Arizonans totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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

 If you believe you are a victim of consumer fraud, you can file a complaint online at the Arizona Attorney General’s website. You can also contact the Consumer Information and Complaints Unit in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, and outside of the metro areas at (800) 352-8431.

Source:https://www.azag.gov/press-release/attorney-general-mark-brnovich-warns-about-deceptive-solar-initiative-flyers

Also covered at: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2018/11/26/deceptive-flyers-circulate-arizona-promoting-solar-energy-effort/2115597002/


Interesting Technology Updates;

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.

The referenced article below by IAEI, a membership driven, non-profit association promoting electrical safety, has a good summary of upcoming changes.

https://iaeimagazine.org/magazine/2019/09/10/pv-installations-for-the-2020-nec/


Events

Interesting Videos

Initiatives & Programs

Arizona Initiatives

Governor's Solar Energy Advisory Task Force (closed by Gov. Ducey)

Arizona Energy Consortium
(November 2011 Report: Arizona's Solar Strategic Plan)

Environment Arizona
(March 2010 Report Summary: Building a Solar Future - Repowering America's Homes, Businesses and Industry with Solar Energy)

 

National Initiatives

Information about current and past initiatives and programs at a national level may be found on the Solar Initiatives page of the US Department of Energy EERE Information Center website.

 

Past Initiatives in Arizona

Arizona Solar Initiative (1999-2001)

The Mission of the Arizona Solar Initiative was to encourage individual, local, and statewide action that capitalized on the national Million Solar Roof Initiative and the region's explosive growth. This Initiative sought to enable Arizona to become a national leader in solar energy utilization, manufacturing, and exports.

Goal 1: Establish an Arizona Solar Initiative sub-committee of the Arizona Solar Energy Advisory Council. The sub-committee will be comprised of invited parties and a representative from the Energy Office.

Goal 2: Install 100,000 new thermal and photovoltaic systems in Arizona by 2010.

Goal 3: Establish technical capabilities to utilize solar in government and non-government application.

Goal 4: Educate consumers about the benefits of using passive and active solar systems.

Goal 5: Coordinate industry and government efforts to overcome institutional barriers.

Goal 6: Develop and support solar manufacturing capacity in the state.

Solar PEIS Exclusion Analysis

The following is a list of exclusions for BLM Land identified as appropriate in the Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Solar PEIS) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States in July 2012. Courtesy of Bob Sullivan of Argonne National Laboratory.

See solareis.anl.gov for additional information about the Solar PEIS.

 

  1. Lands with slopes greater than 5% determined through geographical information system (GIS) analysis using digital elevation models.
  2. Lands with solar insolation levels less than 6.5 kWh/m2/day determined through National Renewable Energy Laboratory solar radiation GIS data (http://www.nrel.gov/rredc/solar_data.html).
  3. All Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs) identified in applicable land use plans (including Desert Wildlife Manage Areas (DWMAs)  in the California Desert District planning area).
  4. All designated and proposed critical habitat areas for species protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 (as amended) as identified in respective recovery plans (http://ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/TESSWebpageRecovery?sort=1).
  5. All areas for which an applicable land use plan establishes protection for lands with wilderness characteristics.
  6. Developed recreational facilities, special-use permit recreation sites (e.g., ski resorts and camps), and all Special Recreation Management Areas (SRMAs) identified in applicable land use plans, except for those in the State of Nevada and a portion of the Yuma East SRMA in Arizona.
  7. All areas where the BLM has made a commitment to state agency partners and other entities to manage sensitive species habitat, including but not limited to sage grouse core areas, nesting habitat, and winter habitat; Mohave ground squirrel habitat; flat-tailed horned lizard habitat; and fringe-toed lizard habitat.
  8. Greater sage-grouse habitat (currently occupied, brooding, and winter habitat) as identified by the BLM in California, Nevada, and Utah, and Gunnison's sage-grouse habitat (currently occupied, brooding, and winter habitat) as identified by the BLM in Utah.
  9. All areas designated as no surface occupancy (NSO) in applicable land use plans
  10. All right-of-way (ROW) exclusion areas identified in applicable land use plans.
  11. All ROW avoidance areas identified in applicable land use plans.
  12. In California, lands classified as Class C in the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) planning area.
  13. In California and Nevada, lands in the Ivanpah Valley.
  14. In Nevada, lands in Coal Valley and Garden Valley.
  15. All Desert Tortoise translocation sites identified in applicable land use plans, project-level mitigation plans or Biological Opinions.
  16. All Big Game Migratory Corridors identified in applicable land use plans.
  17. All Big Game Winter Ranges identified in applicable land use plans.
  18. Research Natural Areas identified in applicable land use plans.
  19. Lands classified as Visual Resource Management (VRM) Class I or II (and, in Utah, Class IIId) in applicable land use plans
  20. Secretarially designated National Recreation, Water, or Side and Connecting Trails and National Back Country Byways (BLM State Director approved) identified in applicable BLM and local land use plans (available at http://www.americantrails.org/NRTDatabase), including any associated corridor or lands identified for protection through an applicable land use plan.
  21. All units of the BLM National Landscape Conservation System, congressionally designated National Scenic and Historic Trails (National Trails System Act [NTSA], P.L. 90-543, as amended), and trails recommended as suitable for designation through a congressionally authorized National Trail Feasibility Study, or such qualifying trails identified as additional routes in law (e.g., West Fork of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail), including any trail management corridors identified for protection through an applicable land use plan. Trails undergoing a congressionally authorized National Trail Feasibility Study will also be excluded pending the outcome of the study.
  22. National Historic and Natural Landmarks identified in applicable land use plans, including any associated lands identified for protection through an applicable land use plan.
  23. Lands within the boundaries of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and any additional lands outside the designated boundaries identified for protection through an applicable land use plan.
  24. Traditional cultural properties and Native American sacred sites as identified through consultation with tribes and recognized by the BLM.
  25. Wild, Scenic, and Recreational Rivers designated by Congress, including any associated corridor or lands identified for protection through an applicable river corridor plan.
  26. Segments of rivers determined to be eligible or suitable for Wild or Scenic River status identified in applicable land use plans, including any associated corridor or lands identified for protection through an applicable land use plan.
  27. Old Growth Forest identified in applicable land use plans.
  28. Lands within a solar energy development application area found to be inappropriate for solar energy development through an environmental review process that occurred prior to finalization of the Draft Solar PEIS.
  29. Lands previously proposed for inclusion in SEZs that were determined to be inappropriate for development through the NEPA process for the Solar PEIS (limited to parts of the Brenda SEZ in Arizona; the previously proposed Iron Mountain SEZ area and parts of the Pisgah and Riverside East SEZs in California; parts of the De Tilla Gulch, Fourmile East, and Los Mogotes East SEZs in Colorado; and parts of the Amargosa Valley SEZ in Nevada.
  30. In California, all lands within the proposed Mojave Trails National Monumentg and all conservation lands acquired outside of the proposed Monument through donations or use of Land and Water Conservation Funds.
  31. In California, BLM-administered lands proposed for transfer to the National Park Service with the concurrence of the BLM.
  32. Specific areas identified since the publication of the Supplement to the Draft Solar PEIS by the BLM based on continued consultation with cooperating agencies and tribes to protect sensitive natural, visual, and cultural resources (total of 1,066,497 acres [4,316 km2]; see Figure ES.2-1. Note there are some overlapping exclusions). Data and finer scale maps will be made available through the Solar PEIS project Web site (http://solareis.anl.gov). Note that in some cases, the description of these areas will be withheld from the public to ensure protection of the resource.

Western Governors' Association

The Western Governors' Association is active in coordinating cross-border efforts to establish effective energy policies. In addition, you'll learn more about how WGA operates, including their fiscal year financial report, and read columns by their Chairman, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, as well as WGA Executive Director Jim Ogsbury.

  • Annual Reports: addresses a variety of topics inlcluding energy, and so provides context for the Association's specifically energy related initiatives.

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 roof-top solar panels. The judge found that the association's "guidelines combined with [its] conduct 'effectively prohibited' the defendants from placing solar heating devices on their residence, contrary to the provisions of A.R.S.-33-439 (A)." The opinion can be reviewed at GARDEN LAKES COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION INC v. MADIGAN.

Senate Bill 1254, enacted in July 2007, stipulates that a homeowners association may not prohibit the installation or use of solar-energy devices (panels and associated devices). An association may, however, adopt reasonable rules regarding the placement of a solar device if those rules do not prevent the installation of the device, impair the functioning of the device, restrict its use, or adversely affect the cost or efficiency of the device. The bill also grants reasonable attorney fees to any party who substantially prevails in litigation against an association's board of directors.

The Arizona Legislature passed ARS-33-439 in 1979 in order to protect individual homeowners private property rights to use solar energy.

Source: www.dsireusa.org

Also see Arizona SB 1417-2016 impacts

Interesting article on Enforceability of HOA Regulations  (but it is really an advertisement that is not endorsed by the Arizona Solar Center, Inc.)

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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