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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!
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Renewable energy: victim of trade war – or winner?

A row between China and the United States over imports of cheaper solar products won't be the sector's death-knell but will ultimately speed innovation and cut costs, a top U.S. renewable energy official said.

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7 Ways The Solar Thermal Industry is Laying the Foundation For Explosive Growth

The solar thermal market has been showing steady growth, but I predict the U.S. industry is on the path for record growth on par with the solar photovolatic industry. Let me explain why.

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Interior Dept. Anoints Solar Energy Sites

The Interior Department is pressing on with its efforts to channel solar energy development into the areas with the best sunshine, the fewest potential environmental disturbances and the least political resistance.

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Distributed Photovoltaics Poised To Experience Continued Market Growth According to Recent Report

As small renewable energy systems are increasingly deployed at the sub-utility scale, distributed solar photovoltaic systems will continue to be the leading form of renewable distributed energy generation installations, according to a new report from Pike Research.

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Two major Arizona solar installations dedicated this week

Two solar installations, including one of the largest in the country, will be dedicated this week as projects in western Maricopa County begin coming online.

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Solar Array Designed To Float On Treatment-Plant Reservoir

New Jersey American Water has energized a 135 kW solar array that floats atop a reservoir at the company's Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant in Millburn, N.J.

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US solar jobs: Arizona third, California first

Arizona ranks third in the U.S. in the number of jobs related to the solar industry, with nearly 5 percent of the nation's solar workers residing in the state. The report, released Monday by the Solar Foundation and Green LMI, showed Arizona has about 980 businesses dedicated to the industry, employing 4,786 people.

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From Dung Power to Solar Power

We usually speak of "alternative energy sources" as positives. Across the developing world, however, these "alternatives" take the forms of dung and wood for cooking, candles and kerosene for lighting. Governments have done an absolutely dismal job of rolling out access to modern energy.

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Solar Energy Tested In Earth’s Sunniest Spot

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Yuma, Ariz., is the sunniest city on Earth - making it the perfect place to put solar energy technologies to the test. Arizona Western College, in Yuma, will soon be home to a 5-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic array that will do just that.

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Turning Arizona's Dry Heat Into a Comfy Chill

An innovative solar-thermal heating and cooling system installed on top of the UA's Student Recreation Center is expected to harvest almost 200 million kilowatt hours of solar energy per year - enough to power more than 180 households.

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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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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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See also: www.aashe.org/resources/campus-solar-photovoltaic-installations/top10/

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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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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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See original announcement  here.

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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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