Arizona Solar Center Blog

Commentary from Arizona Solar Center Board Members and invited contributors.

While blog entries are initiated by the Solar Center, we welcome dialogue around the posted topics. Your expertise and perspective are highly valued -- so if you haven't logged in and contributed, please do so!

Arizona food production plant using five solar installations on site

Whether its SunChips, Doritos, Lay's, Cheetos or Fritos, many of your favorite Frito-Lay snacks are now coming out a plant that gets two-thirds of its power from onsite renewable resources, including five different solar installations on one site in Casa Grande, Ariz. The company, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, remodeled the facility as a near net-zero facility.

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The Sun has Hardly Set on Solar

Solyndra is a blip

Reports of the death of the solar industry are greatly exaggerated. Yes, there have been some high profile bankruptcies of US solar companies -- Solyndra, Evergreen, Spectrawatt -- in 2011. But the solar industry as a whole is on a boom that is only going to increase in coming years, which will transform how we produce and use energy.

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Database on US Campus Solar Power Released - AZ Universities Lead

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education has released a new online database that tracks solar installations on college campuses. The database shows that solar power has grown by 450 percent over the last three years, to a total capacity of 137 megawatts, or enough to power 40,000 homes.

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Willcox businesses get USDA solar grants

As part of President Obama's rural economic bus tour Aug. 17, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced recipients of the agency's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants- 10 of which will be given to small Arizona rural businesses.

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Kingman wind (and solar) farm producing electricity

A small wind farm just outside of Kingman began delivering electricity to UniSource Energy Services last week, reported the developer, Western Wind Energy Corp. The power plant uses five wind turbines and a small solar array to generate electricity, making it unique in Arizona for its combination of wind and solar at one facility.

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$18.5M federal grant to ASU-lead research center will bolster solar industry

Arizona State University is setting up a research group to help the solar industry with an $18.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. The federal grant will foster the creation of the Engineering Research Center for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST), based in ASU's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

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Gabrielle Giffords’ solar summit provides inside look at state’s efforts

Arizona's solar industry players, from policy makers to industry officials, spent a little time Wednesday talking about the past and future at the behest of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords, the Democratic representative from Tucson, has been a huge proponent of solar. Even though she is still recovering from a gunshot wound to the head, she and her staff are still pushing the solar agenda.

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Phoenix-area schools get solar energy

A new solar plant in Florence has started churning out power for nearly one dozen Phoenix-area school districts and will soon be available to residential customers who don't want to hassle with rooftop solar panels. Salt River Project said the new 20-megawatt Copper Crossing Solar Ranch is part of the utility's effort to ramp up production of renewable-energy sources.

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Solar-power plants booming in Gila Bend

About 850 construction workers have descended on Gila Bend to work on the plants this summer, and about double that number are expected next year as the largest alternative-energy project in the state, the Solana Generating Station, ramps up construction.

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Twice the height of the Empire State - EnviroMission plans massive solar tower for Arizona

An ambitious solar energy project on a massive scale is about to get underway in the Arizona desert. EnviroMission is undergoing land acquisition and site-specific engineering to build its first full-scale solar tower - and when we say full-scale, we mean it!

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DOE Introduces SUNPATH: U.S. Manufacturing's New Hope For Growth?

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has revealed plans for a new and possibly game-changing program for encouraging the domestic development of solar companies. Following the introduction in February of the SunShot Initiative, which aims to reduce the costs of solar power by 75% by the end of the decade, the DOE has now developed SUNPATH.

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SRP EarthWise Solar Energy Programs - Notice - 2011-06-23

From: Earthwisesolar <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Sent: Thu, Jun 23, 2011 9:13 am
Subject: SRP Solar Incentive Stakeholder Meeting Presentation

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Arizona No. 3 in US for solar installations

Arizona ranked third in terms of solar installations during the first quarter, according to a report by the Solar Energy Industries Association. Arizona trailed California and New Jersey after a reported 22 megawatts of power production were installed on residential and commercial buildings.

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Japan looks to renewable energy

In a shift that reflects broader developments across Japan - the Nippon Paper plant will change the way it gets its power. Oil furnaces that provided much of its electricity before the tsunami will be mothballed in favour of cleaner-burning biomass generators.

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Navajo Nation development of solar power slow

A bright white lightbulb lit the small, dirt-floored hogan. It nearly matched the intensity of the smile on Paula Curtis' face. Visitors dropped in to admire her home, newly equipped with solar power. A shed-size utility building next to her traditional Navajo dwelling promised to change life dramatically for Curtis and her three children, who live on the reservation about an hour northeast of Flagstaff.

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Solar energy will only use ‘A Drop in the Bucket' when it comes to water use, researchers say

Solar energy will not burden Arizona's water resources in the foreseeable future, according to research presented by University of Arizona experts. Three researchers discussed solar energy and its effects on local water resources last week at the Yuma Agricultural Center Auditorium.

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U.S. solar power industry booms, gains globally

Solar energy remains one of the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. economy as its photovoltaics produced 66% more power in the first quarter of this year than during the same time last year, the industry reports Thursday.

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Experts: Energy mandates won’t drain Arizona’s water supply

Climate, solar and water experts from the University of Arizona said Tuesday night that satisfying the state's renewable-energy mandates by 2025 will require large-scale systems - and won't drain Arizona's future water supplies along the Colorado River.

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SOLON and UniSource to Bring Milestone 1.22 MW Solar Power Plant to Kingman, AZ

SOLON Corporation, one of the largest providers of turnkey solar power plants and manufacturer of crystalline silicon solar modules in the U.S., today announced an agreement with UniSource Energy Services (UES) that will bring a 1.22 megawatt (MW) solar system to Kingman, Arizona.

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Chandler's amended zoning code encourages solar

Chandler became the first city in Arizona to recognize solar energy systems in its municipal zoning code when it recently adopted a new ordinance that establishes separate, more flexible building standards for the installation of residential, commercial and industrial solar systems.

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