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 Supports "Energy Awareness Month" With Solar and Sustainable Home Tour

Valley Supports "Arizona Solar and Sustainability Month" with Valley Tour

Scottsdale, AZ, October 5, 2009

Nationally, October is Energy Awareness Month by presidential proclamation since 1991. The aim is to promote public understanding of our energy needs and to reduce energy consumption in our everyday lives. The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) announced its 14th annual National Solar Home Tour in support of this important event.

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Environmental Groups, Southwest Tribes Stand Together to Promote Clean, Renewable Energy

Flagstaff, AZ -- As Hopi and Navajo leaders in the American Southwest evaluate their energy policies, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups remain committed to working with their tribal partners to find clean energy solutions that work for everyone.

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Starwood Energy, Lockheed Martin terminate solar deal with APS

Starwood Energy Group Global LLC has ended its deal to provide power to Arizona Public Service Co. from a large solar plant it intended to build in western Maricopa County.

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U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Solar Roadmap Act Clears Key House Panel

Bill would create long-term plan for solar research

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords today applauded passage of her Solar Technology Roadmap Act by a key House subcommittee. "This legislation will help take solar research and development in the United States to a new level," the Arizona lawmaker said.

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SRP EarthWise Residential Solar Energy Program - Notice to Vendors - 2009-09-29

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From: Earthwisesolar [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 10:47 AM
Subject: SRP Process Change Reminder
Importance: High

Hello Everyone,

First, we would like to thank you for your assistance and patience as we update the application processes associated with our Residential EarthWise Solar Programs. For the most part, it has been a fairly smooth transition. However, there are a few areas within each program that need to be addressed.

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Alternate-energy scramble on across West

Want some solar energy with your geothermal? In Utah, state officials are fielding various combinations of energy proposals. Together, the 15 projects in the works amount to "a land rush of alternate energy" projects, said John Andrews, the No. 2 official at Utah's trust-lands administration.

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Solar is the Bridge to Our Future

by Gabrielle Giffords, U.S. Representative from Arizona

The Middle East is synonymous with oil -- a critical natural resource that has transformed the nations of that region into some of the wealthiest on Earth. My home state of Arizona has no oil to speak of but is blessed with a natural resource that in my opinion is even better: abundant sunshine. Just as oil was a passport to wealth in the 20th century, I believe the sun will be a gateway to prosperity in the 21st.

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Cochise County empowers local solar efforts

Bisbee, AZ — In an effort to make the county friendly to renewable energy, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors approved the addition of regulations for solar energy systems and power plants during Tuesday’s meeting.

Planner Michael Turisk presented the new solar energy code. It includes a provision to open the county to the solar power industry, including prime agricultural lands, the San Pedro Watershed Overlay District and avian flyway concentration areas, such as the Sulphur Springs Valley and Whitewater Draw, as agreed to by  Planning and Zoning Commission members in August.

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Agua Caliente solar plant clears final permit hurdle

There's about to be a new kid on the block in east Yuma County. The Agua Caliente Solar Project passed its final permit hurdle Tuesday with approval from the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC).

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Prism Solar offers low-cost solution for green revolution

New York-based Prism Solar Technologies Inc., which has its research center in Tucson, Arizona, is planning to begin production of solar materials that redirect and concentrate sunlight to boost efficiency and reduce the use of costly crystalline silicon, which is used in approximately 85 percent of the solar cell market. Prism Solar, which is headquartered in Highland, N.Y., has been able to replace a large percentage of the crystalline silicon with its patented Holographic Planar Concentrator film, as a low-cost solution for the green revolution, while retaining or surpassing the initial cell efficiency.

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[Tucson] solar outlook is worldly, TREO tells visiting journalists

There's enough noonday sunlight striking the University of Arizona campus to produce 1.5 gigawatts of electricity and power all of Tucson. Sunny skies are a key reason Tucson has attracted several companies in the solar energy industry. Economic-development officials say the city is taking its place as a solar-business hot spot of the world. To spread that message, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities Inc. [TREO] hosted several journalists last week from around the United States, including some who report for media in solar-conscious Germany.

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Tucson Thin-film producer Global Solar reaches photovoltaic milestones

Tucson-based Global Solar Energy, Inc. has set a benchmark of 15.45 percent efficiency for the thin-film photovoltaic material it produces at plants in Tucson and Germany, according to the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo.

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Sunrise for solar heat power

Four technologies aim to use heat from the sun to make electricity. But which one has the edge?

Nearly a century ago, American engineer Frank Shuman erected five immense, trough-shaped mirrors in Meadi, Egypt. The parabolic reflectors directed sunlight onto a tube suspended above their 200-foot lengths. Water inside the tubes boiled and created steam. The steam powered a 65-horsepower engine, which pumped 6,000 gallons of water per minute from the Nile River to nearby cotton fields. It was the world’s first concentrated solar power (CSP) plant.

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TEP to buy solar power from 2 new plants

Tucson Electric Power announced it will buy the electricity from two new solar-power plants to be built by 2012 in southern Arizona.

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Gov. Schwarzenegger advances California’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard to 33% by 2020

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an Executive Order directing the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations increasing the stateGovernor Schwarzenegger advances California’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard to 33 per cent by 2020.

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U.S. Rep Gabriella Giffords Addresses Solar Economics Forum

Arizona lawmaker says solar can help meet our energy needs

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords this week outlined the future of solar power and its potential for growth, telling a conference in the nation's capital that energy from the sun is becoming cost-competitive with traditional energy sources. Giffords spoke Thursday at the Solar Economics Forum USA.

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TEP seeks solar-plant bids

Tucson Electric Power Co. is seeking bids to locate a "utility scale" solar plant in the Tucson area, along with some smaller installations on underused land, possibly on reclaimed landfills. In a request for proposals released last week, the utility seeks to buy 50,000 to 100,000 megawatt-hours of energy per year from solar installations built and owned by third parties.

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Arizona gets $9.6 million to help energy efficiency in small towns

Arizona received $9.6 million Monday that will be funneled to small cities and towns across the state to further their goals for energy efficiency. The disbursement, part of $354 million pool released by the U.S. Department of Energy, is for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants. Much of those funds already have been distributed to large cities and counties in the state.

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ASU West getting a green makeover

Arizona State University West is boosting its green profile over the next several months with a major retrofit of campus light fixtures - indoors and out - to high-efficiency models. ASU campuses have a reputation to uphold after the "Princeton Review" named ASU's Tempe campus as a "standout" on its list of the greenest universities in the country.

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Partnership expands Mesa's use of solar power

Mesa's Energy Resources Department and SolFocus, a California-based solar energy company with a manufacturing plant in Mesa, will showcase new solar technology at the city's Central Arizona Project Water Treatment Plant in east Mesa. SolFocus will build 11 next-generation concentrating photovoltaic solar arrays alongside four existing demonstration arrays they have previously installed.

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