Frequently Asked Questions - All FAQs

FAQs - All FAQs
In line with the simplicity and availability of the other materials we have used 1) black tempera paint (needs a very good adhering surface, cardboard or well sanded metal. 2) Barbecue black spray paint (This is formulated for use around food and is our preference) 2) Black latex paint (longer seasoning time.) Only the outside of pots and jars is painted; never the inside where there would be contact with food. Black is the traditional color, however, any dark color will work - red, green, blue, brown.....Whatever is available. The surface of metal or glass needs to be clean and scrubbed with sand to help the paint stick. Any of the paints need to be well dried in the sun to release the initial vapors, then baked in a solar cooker until all remaining vapors have been driven off.
  • Technically, this is true, but what they have told you is misleading; the slight reduction is overwhelmingly offset by the quality (consistency and abundance) of our resource here.
  • We in the Valley of the Sun get 70% more power from the same PV than they do in Germany (The world's biggest market).
  • In Flagstaff , we get 83% more power than Germany does, due to the elevation and less atmospheric absorption, with the lower temperature contributing a slight increase in efficiency.
  • They might be referring to the aging that the heat does to inverters (that change DC into AC), but it is not considered significant enough to deter solar deployment.
  • By the way, their claim is not true at all for solar thermal systems.
  • Obviously, the sun goes down, but the problem is not insurmountable for several reasons as several Arizona users have demonstrated.  Moreover, PVs will provide their electricity just about when we need it in our homes, off-setting some traditional generation without additional power plant construction.  Any time they are not producing enough to meet demand, the normal grid-tied system can take over.  If the solar arrays are large and constructed near an existing power plant (coal, hydro) they can firm up the solar.

  • Local solar firms have been putting in PV systems for the last 30 years with 5 sunless days of battery storage.  The batteries cost $2 per pound, last 6 or 7 years and are 100% recycled. This is less than a pound of food that only lasts one meal.

  • Products are now entering the market to allow smaller battery banks to operate with grid-connected PV systems and operate in a mode that reduces utility demand charges.  We hope to have news on this soon (2017).


  • Not a problem for grid-tied systems until we get into the hundreds or maybe 1000s of Megawatts.  One option is to site solar at existing generating facilities, like a gas-fired or coal-fired power plant.  If the solar backs off due to weather or storms, the fossil-fueled portion of the plant can ramp up to keep the power output steady. There are merchant gas plants considering this right now – and it’s not a bad deal considering wholesale gas plants are selling power to the grid at $100 / MWH ($0.10 / kWh).

  • Conservation - Invest in better air conditioners, insulated windows, etc.
  • Conduct a home energy audit.
  • Switch to efficient lighting such as compact fluorescent and LED bulbs.
  • Contribute to the value of the house (tax free equity increase)
  • Make a good return on investment
  • Lock in some of my energy costs in an inflating economy
  • Take advantage of incentives, rebates, and tax credits
  • Get it right the first time
  • Do the best for my family
  • Improve the environment

You may follow current news releases on our front page of the website under 'Featured', our 'News Feed', the blog section, and the Twitter section.

  • Many remote homes and ranches have worked without problems for 25 and 30 years.

  • City of Tucson’s 60 kW photovoltaic array at the new Pennington St. Garage (top deck has a 30+ space canopy that uses PV modules to shade the cars parked on this level)

  • Imperial National Wildlife Refuge near Martinez Lake, AZ.  Good example of a Refuge Manager taking control of his energy situation and prominently displaying solar for public viewing.

  • Arizona State University is highly covered by PV arrays of many types.  Worth a visit to see.. 

  • Major supermarkets are installing PV shaded canopies that provide both shade and power.  There is even PV shaded parking on a public street in Parker, Arizona.

  • The 280 MW Solana plant, a partnership between Abengoa Solar and APS, is located near Gila Bend. This concentrating solar power (CSP) facility will provide thermal storage adequate to produce electric power for several hours after the sun goes down.
  • Invite and encourage additional large-scale development of solar here (of several hundred megawatts).  Several large projects such as Solana (CSP) and Agua Caliente (PV) may be the models for others.

  • Establish ambitious goals.  The Western Governor’s Association has a target of 30,000 MW of renewable for the western states by the year 2015.  See  for details.

  • Increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard, a function of the Arizona Corporation Commission.

  • Get real teeth in a law mitigating CC&R restrictions on homeowners.  There is existing law that protects homeowners in Arizona, but CC&Rs tend to scare possible users

  • Get major developers to design homes for easy installation of PV systems.  They build some 90% of all new homes. Most designs make it more difficult to install solar than it need be.

  • Have the utilities pay a closer to a real price for on-peak PV power.

  • Establish tradable Green Credits (tags) in favor of PV that are valued closer to the equivalent pollution that they avoid.

ASP currently has over 1000 MW of combined company-operated and distributed residential and commercial PV capacity.

SRP in 2016 reported 117.5 MW of residential PV, 52.7 MW of commercial, 91.9 MW of investor owned utility scale PV, and 381 MW of SRP owned PV systems.

TEP owns three PV plants and operates two others which are rated at a combined capacity of over 16 MW (outdated).