• 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
Geoff Sutton
25 November 2017

In the desert south-west the intense sunshine and long summer days result in uncomfortable and even dangerously high temperatures for about four months.

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


Will add Guest Blog content here
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Fri, Dec 15, 2017
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Some things to pay attention to in Arizona

ASEA REBOOT

The Arizona Solar Energy Association (ASEA), State Chapter of the American Solar Energy Society ASES), will be holding meetings in a follow-up to the-long awaited updated ASES‚  Chapters handbook and directives.

ASES evolution, in response to some problematic economic and operational conditions, has resulted in a hearty and robust context for the present and the future. ASEA is now responding with an appropriate updating, through local and statewide discussion. 

Interim Chair, Andy Gerl, a past ASEA Chair and Board member, is making arrangements for Arizona solar advocates and supporters, members and non-members, to receive both an update re: ASES adaptation and changes, and to discuss solar in Arizona and the “reboot" of the ASEA  context, goals and objectives, within the context of varied renewable energy groups within the State, such as AriSEIA (the solar trade association); various sustainability groups; Green Building organizations; the recently formed solar hot water businesses non-profit entity; research and development at the universities; and others.

For more information about the ASEA Reboot discussions, contact Andy at andrew@blazingsolar.com  or 602-799-5942

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.

Green Building Lecture Series

Solar Energy and Battery Storage Systems

Date: Thursday, Dec. 7

Time: 7 - 8:30 p.m.

This is an exciting time for renewables and on-site energy storage systems as solar continues to take off in the valley. Just this year, Scottsdale has had a record year with more than 500 residential solar electric installations and a growing number of battery storage system installs.  

ASU Senior Sustainability Scholar Paul Hirt will discuss the solar energy revolution, why solar is coming faster than anyone expected and how it will change our world. His current research includes a history of electric power, transition to renewable energy, and collaborative interdisciplinary research on water use, urban growth and sustainability.

Titan Solar Power Director of Business Development Jack Walker joins Hirt. He’ll discuss residential battery storage options for utility-connected solar photovoltaics systems. Walker is set to address homeowners’ concerns about time of use rates, controlling demand charges and having a backup system in the event of a utility grid failure. For some homeowners it’s about control over time of use rates, for others it may be about controlling demand charges while for others it may be about having a "back up" system in the event of utility grid failure.

For more information see the 'Next Lecture' section of this link: http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/green-building-program

The  scheduled lecture series includes:

  • 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

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

    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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