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AriSEIA, Has published several articles or letters that are of interest to our Arizona solar community:


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Interesting Technology Updates -Click on a title below

  • - A radical idea to get a high-renewable electric grid

    This is an interesting approach to optaining very high penetration of renewables such as photovoltaics and wind.  At present most large installations operate under Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) wherein the economics are based on a sell all output at predetermined prices. This contrasts with standalone systems wherein the system size Read More
  • - Breakthrough Batteries Powering the Era of Clean Electrification

    - Breakthrough Batteries Powering the Era of Clean Electrification Battery Storage Costs Drop Dramatically, Making Way to a New Era. A recent Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) report continues to confirm that clean electrification through batteries is advancing at impressive rates. Very interesting report: Breakthrough Batteries- Powering the Era of Clean Electrification Read More
  • - Interesting Technology

    An assortment of links to interesting information   Semiconductor Nanowires Could Double the Efficiency of Silicon Solar Cells A p/n semiconductor junction is not the only way of converting sunshine into useful electrical energy.  Light consists of a flow of photons of various energy levels (colors).  See this article-Solar Cells.  Nanowires Read More
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Interesting Videos

Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) Changes Affect Solar Business and Customers

AriSEIA reported this past November that the TPT exemption covering the installation of solar energy systems would expire at the end of the year with new regulations going into effect on January 1, 2017. A bill was introduced in the last session of the Arizona Legislature to make the exception permanent, but it did not receive a hearing. Since there was no bill passed to extend the exemption, the new regulations are in effect.  Below is the notice TEP sent to its contractors (slightly updated by the Solar Center):

The First Regular Session of the 53rd Arizona Legislature has adjourned and we wanted to make readers of the Arizona Solar Center aware of an important change that may affect your tax liability as a solar contractor. As of January 1, 2017, the gross proceeds of sales or gross income derived from a contract to provide and install a solar energy device are now taxable under the State of Arizona's transaction privilege tax statute (see Arizona Revised Statutes Section 42-5075.B.13). An exemption for this activity had been enacted in 1996 with a sunset date of January 1, 2017. A legislator in UES service territory, Senator Sonny Borelli (R - Lake Havasu City), had introduced legislation that would have eliminated the sunset date and made the tax exemption permanent. However, the bill did not receive a hearing and this exemption is no longer effective as of January 1, 2017. Additionally, a policy rider effecting the exemption was not included in the budget signed by Governor Ducey.

From December 31, 1996 and up to January 1, 2017, the gross proceeds of sales or gross income derived from a contract to provide and install a solar energy device (commonly called Sales Tax in Arizona) were exempt.  It appears that this is no longer the situation and sales of solar devices may be subject to sales tax (TPT).  Thank your legislators.

Editorial Note:  A review of the Arizona Revised Statutes Title 42-5061 (M) on 6-6-2017 indicates "M. There shall be deducted from the tax base the amount received from sales of solar energy devices.....".  Apparently only contracting is affected by the above TPT change.  Watch this space for updates as the Arizona solar industry researches this subject.

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Arizona Legal Environment

Notice: This Article is not intended to be legal advice.  It is intended for general awareness.

A wide range of Arizona and Federal laws, regulations, standards, codes, best practices, local zoning apply to selling, purchasing, installing, and using renewable energy systems and related devices.  The main objectives are safety, consumer protection and incentives for adoption. However, some may also present obstacles to the adoption of renewable energy (see the article Barriers to PV Implementation). 

Since renewable energy, and specifically solar, are complex and related to many aspects of our lives, there are many laws and related rules that apply.

Arizona Laws

Arizona Revised Statures (ARS - the basic set of laws) ARS 44-1761 Solar Energy Devices - Definitions defines  "solar device" in a very general sense.  The Arizona Commerce Authority issued a more definitive set of definitions Arizona Solar Devices: Guidelines.  For most devices the applicable standards, rating, certifications, etc. are defined. The bottom-line when it comes to solar devices - any " solar device" that does not meet the standards, rating, certification or other part(s) of these guidelines, MAY NOT BE SOLD AND/OR INSTALLED IN ARIZONA.

Another set of laws and regulations define who can sell solar devices.  The laws about tax credits and related items are issued by the Arizona Department of Revenue and the Arizona Commerce Authority. There is a requirement to register as a seller.  Only registered sellers can use the sales tax (Transaction Tax) exemption.  See the form and the instructions on the form: Solar Energy Devices Application for Registration Form 6015.

In 2016 the Arizona Legislature enacted SB-1417 titled "distributed energy generation systems" that amended many sections of the laws (AMENDING SECTIONS 32-1154, 32-1155, 44-1761, 44-1762 AND 44-1763, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; AMENDING TITLE 44, CHAPTER 11, ARTICLE 11, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY ADDING SECTION 44-1764; RELATING TO SOLAR ENERGY DEVICES.).  The Legislative effort to "protect solar customers" has complicated the sale of these solar devices in many ways.  Part of the law now requires the seller to specify the lifetime maintenance costs of systems, yet the law offers no definition of the lifetime nor is there any technical consensus on the issue.  See our separate article on Arizona SB 1417-2016 impacts.

Codes and Standards

More laws define how a system is to be installed. The National Electrical Code has design, workmanship and material requirements (Codes & Standards) and limits voltages and currents to safe limits. Some systems may need to be designed by a registered engineer (electrical, structural, etc.), see the article on (Arizona Board of Technical Registration). Installation is regulated by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.  Recent law has assigned some of the contract regulation to the Registrar ( Arizona SB 1417-2016 impacts).

Cities, counties, and towns issue building permits that require conforming to Building and Fire Code requirements.  Permits generally cost about 2% of the project value, while two sections of ARS (11-323 & ARS 9-468) limit permit and plan review fees to the actual cost of review, but are often ignored by some jurisdictions unless there are complaints.  The permit process can take months.



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  • 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

    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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