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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!

Solar Technology Continues To Dominate Investment In Q1

U.S. venture capital (VC) investment in cleantech companies increased by 54% to $1.14 billion in the first quarter of this year (Q1'11), from $743.3 million in the first quarter of 2010 (Q1'10).

Read more...

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Southwestern Cities Aggressively Pursue Clean-Tech Firms

Last August, a Spanish company called Rioglass Solar announced plans to build a factory in Surprise, Ariz., a suburb 25 miles outside Phoenix. Building a 160,000-foot, highly automated plant takes time, but Surprise was hungry. It sped Rioglass through the permitting process and suspended fees. The project broke ground in January.

Read more in the New York Times...

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7 Solar Farms Coming Soon to the South West Deserts

A whole lot has changed since we wrote this story three years ago, covering solar farms that were going under construction in the deserts of California and Arizona. On the one hand, there's been solar contracts revoked, companies sold, and money lost - on the other hand there's been a bunch of companies that have finally gotten state and federal permits to build plants.

Read more...

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Towers of power: UA tech park gains world-class solar panels

Tucson added to its growing solar-energy credentials Thursday with the dedication of one of the world's most efficient photovoltaic systems at the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park.

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SRP EarthWise Solar Energy Programs - Notice - 2011-04-29


From:
Earthwisesolar [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2011
Subject: Important Information Regarding SRP's EarthWise Solar Energy Programs

SRP’s EarthWise Solar Energy Programs will open on May 1, 2011 with new incentive levels and program requirements. As there are many changes this year, it is strongly recommended that you review and understand the new documents and program requirements.  These items are available on the EarthWise Solar Energy Program website.  Please note: all application packages submitted on or after May 1, 2011 must be on the new program documents and must comply with all new program requirements.

Major changes include:

  • New application documents
  • New incentive levels with an automatic reclining incentive schedules and prorated incentives in some instances
  • Revised system size capacity limitations in some instances
  • More stringent warranty requirements
  • Restrictions on program participation depending on when systems were installed
  • Strict incentive reservation expiration schedules
  • New requirements for leased systems

Again, we encourage you to read through the new program requirement documents on our website. Visit www.srpnet.com/solar for information about SRP’s residential solar energy programs or www.srpnet.com/solarbiz for information about SRP’s commercial solar energy programs.

If you have questions about these changes, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. regarding the residential program and at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. regarding the commercial program.

SRP’s EarthWise Solar Energy Program Team

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A Loan and a Name - Solar scores big

BrightSource Energy, Inc. just announced it has closed the financing of its large solar thermal plant in the California desert and noted that Google is now one of the investors in the project. The search engine giant is now invested in renewable energy projects from sea to shining sea, so to speak.

Read more...

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City of Tucson Doubles Solar Power

The City of Tucson, Arizona has doubled its solar power capacity through a completed project in partnership with the Tucson Water Department, Trico Electric and SunPower Corp. The 1-megawatt, ground-mounted solar power system is located on former agricultural land located within Tuscon Water Department's underground water storage and recovery facility.

Read more...

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Tucson locals seek to set solar standards

Solar-energy professionals have launched a local industry-standards group - believed to be one of the first in the nation - to hold installers accountable for their work through inspections and a code of ethics. The Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board invites solar-energy-equipment installers to join and pledge to meet minimum technical standards for installations and to follow ethical standards.

Read more...

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Scottsdale-based Restaurant goes carbon neutral

Pita Jungle is dumping its carbon footprint by signing up with local firm EcoAid to acquire offsets for the power it uses.

Read more...

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ASU's Gary Dirks chases the sun

Gary Dirks, director of Arizona State University's LightWorks project, is featured in this PBS Special "The Energy of Innovation" - part of a segment called Planet Forward. Dirks is one of seven finalists of innovators working to improve how we generate or use energy.

Read more and link to video...

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Is Solar Worth It? New Study Says Yes—With Incentives

Home buyers will pay for solar, a new study from Lawrence Berkeley Lab says, but the incentives are important to make it economical.

Read more...

Review the complete study...

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Forbes' 'greenest' companies have Arizona presence

A few days before Earth Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced the country's top corporate buyers of "green" power - solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and small-scale hydroelectric. Many of the companies have a strong presence in Arizona.

Read more...

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With DOE Loan Guarantee, It's Now Full Steam Ahead For Blythe Solar Plant

The 1 GW Blythe concentrating solar power (CSP) project, which is slated to be the world's largest solar facility when completed, has added another superlative to its credentials: On Tuesday, the project's developer, Solar Trust of America, was awarded the industry's largest-ever loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Loan Programs Office.

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A Missed Opportunity? Apartment Complexes Offer Major Solar Potential

Now that California's new, enhanced renewable portfolio standard (RPS) has been signed into law, where will California's utilities find the in-state renewable energy they need in order to meet requirements?

Read more...

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Solar power: Desert dawn

IT LOOKS like a planetary tattoo designed to be seen from space, a vast set of concentric circles inscribed in the skin of southern California's desert. Ground was broken on the Ivanpah power plant, which is to be one of the biggest solar installations in the world, last October.

Read more...

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SRP supplies solar to group homes

Salt River Project has installed solar panels on 30 residential group homes in the East Valley, using a $2.2 million in grant money and its own funds to provide the power.

Read more...

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Now we're cooking with solar energy

Stay-at-home mom Angie Gorkoff regularly roasts meats and vegetables in a solar oven to feed her family of five...

Some 40 to 50 solar-oven owners will demonstrate the sun's cooking power at the 29th annual Solar Potluck and Exhibition Saturday, April 16th, at Catalina State Park.

Read more...
Also see calendar event here.

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Sun City West residents slowly warming to solar energy

Steve Loritz likes to say that he is selling the sun. It should be an easy pitch for the solar coach... But convincing residents of Sun City West that they'll make their money back from solar power within their lifetimes can be tough.

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Arizona appeals court backs ACC right to set renewable standard

The Arizona Court of Appeals this week upheld the Arizona Corporation Commission's ability to set a state renewable energy standard, and to set tariffs to fund solar energy systems.

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SRP looks to expand renewable standards; industry seeks more

Salt River Project is looking at expanding its renewable energy and conservation standards to 20 percent or more by 2020, but solar businesses say it's not enough.

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