• New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance

    While there is a growing market for organic solar cells ­­– they contain materials that are cheaper, more abundant, and more environmentally friendly than those used in typical solar panels – they also tend to be less efficient in converting sunlight to electricity than conventional solar cells. Now, scientists who are members of the Center for Computational Study of Excited-State Phenomena in Read more
  • 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
  • Home Battery Systems

    Rooftop solar panels are common in Arizona thanks to abundant sunshine, but to get even more use from the technology, homeowners are beginning to pair them with large home batteries. Batteries allow homeowners to store their surplus electricity, rather than send it to the grid in exchange for credit from their electric company. 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 New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance
  • 2 Know Your Rights
  • 3 Home Battery Systems
  • 4 Solar Hot Water
  • 5 Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
  • 6 Solar Building Design in Arizona
  • 7 How Not to- Battery Connections


  1. Solar Center Blog
  2. Guest Blogs
Lucy Mason
06 January 2018

Wishing you a wonderful and Happy New Year!

The year 2017 has gone by quickly, and AriSEIA has accomplished a full and active agenda to further solar and renewable energy in Arizona. 

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.

Will add Guest Blog content here
Sun, Sep 23, 2018
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Some things to pay attention to in Arizona


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




Environmental Achievement Recognition Award

Call for Entries

Is your business or organization a sustainability leader? The city of Scottsdale wants to honor your exemplary achievements.

The Environmental Quality Advisory Board is accepting nominations for its next Environmental Achievement Recognition Award. The award honors environmental excellence in areas such as green building, resource conservation and waste reduction. Eligible candidates include businesses, associations and organizations located in Scottsdale. Learn more about the award program and nominate a worthy candidate.

Past Award Recipient - Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch

The Board's inaugural award recognized Hyatt Regency Scottsdale for the resort's many and diverse accomplishments that were "designed, engineered, cost analyzed and then approved by business executives because the return on investment made sense." The Hyatt was originally designed and constructed in the late 1980's. It was not until 2009 that a concerted effort was made towards energy efficiency and other green improvements starting with the installation of  a cool roof and solar thermal (hot water) system. The cool roof showed immediate results by reducing interior temperatures by 8-10 degrees, while the solar thermal panels supplied 100 percent of the domestic hot water used in the resort, providing for significant energy savings.

The green transformation continued with renovation of the guest rooms and other interior spaces, including installation of LED lighting, thermostats linked to occupancy/vacancy sensors, high efficiency plumbing fixtures, and textiles made with recycled materials. Seventy percent of the removed fixtures, textiles and building materials were recycled or donated to local organizations for reuse. Recycling containers were strategically placed throughout the resort, including every guest room.

The resort's Canyon Market began selling refillable beverage containers in lieu of plastic bottled water and water stations were installed  throughout the property. 28,000 square feet of turf grass was replaced with artificial turf resulting in 3.8 million gallons of water saved annually. The turf conversion also  increased the marketability of these areas as event spaces, thereby increasing revenue opportunities. The parking area was retrofitted with LED lighting and equipped with free electrical vehicle charging stations for guests and associates.

As a result of these and other improvements over a seven-year period, the Hyatt team reduced consumption of electricity by 20 percent, natural gas by 30 percent and water by 25 percent; and increased recycling by 15 percent.

Congratulations again to the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch!

Contact: Anthony Floyd, green building program manager, city of Scottsdale, afloyd@ScottsdaleAZ.gov, 480-312-4202.

You may also visit the Green Building Program at www.ScottsdaleAZ.gov, search "Green Building Program".

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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
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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
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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
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APS Follow up to Interconnection Workshop- 2015


Follow up to Interconnection Workshop


Fri, Mar 20, 2015 3:51 pm


APS Renewable Energy





Thanks to all who attended the February 9th interconnection workshop or sent written comments—we received terrific suggestions and feedback.  Presentation materials are posted at aps.com/renewables. We were asked to provide a summary of changes to our interconnection requirements, and we posted it to the same page. The 2015 interconnection requirements themselves (rev. 8.0) are now posted at aps.com/dg, and all updates are highlighted for your convenience. Careful attention to the APS Interconnection Requirements will greatly speed the customer’s interconnection time!


Without further ado, here is the list of questions from the forum about the process of interconnection—that we promised to address:


Q. Why is APS taking test meters that are not marked with a  RECYCLE sticker?

A. We should not be!  Please email us with a reservation ID if this occurs and we’ll rectify the situation.  We have escalated this with our field services team to ensure this does not happen. Per Section 9 of the Interconnection Requirements, for fast-track residential interconnections, you can now simply provide a meter cover made of approved materials such as Plexiglas, rather than leaving a test meter—this will reduce the chance of similar errors in the future.  Please note that as we discussed on 2/9, test meters are required for systems 12kW-AC+; systems with 3+ inverters; supply side taps; or battery systems.


Q.  What is the APS policy on lockboxes?

A. They may be allowed on some commercial installations if a facility cannot comply with the APS 24/7 access policy; they are not allowed on residential installations.  We have updated our interconnection requirements to clarify the commercial facility exception.


Q.  Does APS have a guide to reading meters? A. Yes.  Instructions for reading bi-directional and non-standard (production) meters are at aps.com.  Regardless of type, a meter’s display cycles through several fields of data, but total kWh flashes immediately after the time is shown.  If customers need help, they may call 602-328-1924 or 1-800-659-8148 for assistance.


Q.  (1) Can APS show more fields on the installer report?  (2) If an installer is also listed as the dealer, can the online application navigation be changed so that you stay in the application after one certification has been processed and more quickly complete the other certification?  (3) Can a comments section be added to the installer view to provide more transparency on redlines?  (4) Can you add a message center to broadcast application queue/work flow “APS is processing applications submitted on XXX date.”  (5) Can APS clarify language in approval emails to reduce customer confusion? A.  We liked these suggestions, and we have completed item (2) already.  It’s our hope to implement all of these changes; please stay tuned.


Q.  Can APS review interconnection applications redlines in a separate queue, rather than the customer going to the back of the line based on the newer submittal date? A.  We are open to both collapsing steps and changing the redline review procedure, and are reviewing these streamline options internally right now. We’ll get back with you shortly.


Q.  For O&M, we don’t want to wait for APS to remove the lock, seal, or meter.  How can we proceed with our work? A.  We have a same-day service where APS will pull meters and then return to reinstall them—please utilize this document as your guide to contact APS for upgrades, de-rates, repairs, expansions, etc. Cutting locks/seals or removing meters is considered tampering and will be reported to law enforcement if warnings do not halt this practice.


Q. Will APS allow electronic signatures on the disclaimer document? A. Unfortunately, this is not possible while regulatory decision language requires APS to collect a “hand-signed” document.


Q. The online certification asks installers to verify they have been paid in full; is this segment of the certification still needed? A. No, it is not; the paid-in-full invoice is an artifact of our incentive program requirements and has been ruled as not applicable to the interconnection program. We are removing this language from the certifications. 


Q. Is APS making any outbound calls to customers that delay the meter set? A. APS encourages customers to call 602-328-1924 or 800-659-8148 regarding their service plans.  An outbound call to customers with specific services plans (such as combined advantage or electric vehicle rates, for example) is triggered by our meter set request.  To avoid delay, customers should return our call as soon as possible so that we can complete the meter set in a timely manner.


Q. Several permitting questions arose.  Is it okay with APS for Prescott Valley to require a reservation ID prior to issuing a permit?  Paradise Valley isn’t issuing green tags—how can we avoid delays in that circumstance?  A. The authorities having jurisdiction set their own rules, however, we have reached out to Yavapai County to explain that we no longer have an incentive program.  We explained that it is certainly best practice for the customer to receive interconnection approval prior to the system being built, but we understood that sometimes permit applications are sent to the AHJs in advance of when the APS interconnection application is submitted—this in itself does not violate our process. Regarding Paradise Valley, APS still receives clearances from them directly—we’ll continue to note the clearance in the application once the clearance desk posts it to the customer’s account (this occurs the same day it is received from the AHJ).


Now that we have held the interconnection workshop and published the 2015 revision of the interconnection requirements, we are using the updated requirements and associated plan documents as our guide, and changes are effective 3/30/2015.  To avoid delays, please use only the 2015 materials as your guide when developing your interconnection applications/designs, and email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions. 


Thank you!


APS Renewable Energy Program

Arizona Corporation Commission urged to fix solar net metering 'grandfathering' issue

Arizona Corporation Commission urged to fix solar net metering 'grandfathering' issue

By David Wichner Arizona  Daily Star            Updated Jan 6, 2017

Mamta Popat / Arizona  Daily Star 

APS, TEP and a number of solar industry groups argue that more customers should fall under current net-metering

The Arizona  Corporation Commission is being urged to amend its recent decision to end retail net metering for customers with rooftop solar, to correct the timing of when customers will be grandfathered under the old rules.

The commission voted in late December to scrap the current system of net metering, by which  customers with rooftop solar systems are reimbursed for their excess generation at each utility’s retail energy rate.

To replace net metering, the utility panel approved a policy in which  solar customers will be paid a new “export rate,” based on a proxy rate for power from utility-scale solar farms or on cost studies for each utility.

The solar export rates — expected to be a fraction of retail rates — will eventually be set as part of proceedings in pending rate cases filed by utilities including Tucson Electric Power Co. and Arizona  Public Service Co.

But a few days after the commission’s vote, Arizona  Public Service Co. filed documents urging the commission to amend its decision.

APS noted that under an omnibus amendment passed after two full days of debate, the final order grandfathers under the current net-metering rules only customers whose systems are interconnected with their utility when the new rates go into effect. Grandfathered customers will keep their net metering rates for 20 years from the time their systems were turned on.

But APS said  it believes the grandfathering period was  intended to extend to customers who  submit an interconnection application by the effective date of the decision issued in their utility’s rate case, not when they are actually interconnected, which  could occur weeks later.

“Otherwise, whether a customer is grandfathered could be determined not by when a customer makes a decision to submit an application to interconnect, but instead by the volume of (rooftop solar) applications received, among other factors outside a customer’s control,” APS said.

Since APS filed its request to correct the decision, parties including TEP, the state Residential Utility Consumer Office, the Vote Solar  Coalition, the Alliance for Solar Choice and the Arizona  Solar  Energy Industries Association have filed documents in support of the change.

In a letter supporting APS’s position, the Arizona  Solar  Energy Industries Association said  if the grandfathering issue is not fixed, “the sales and installations of solar in Arizona  will immediately and abruptly stop in some areas of the state.”

“The error in language is minor but the implications are potentially devastating,” AriSEIA President Tom Harris wrote in a letter to Commissioner Andy Tobin, who sponsored an amendment that became a catch-all for modifications negotiated during the open meeting. “We do not believe this was  your  intent.”

In a filing on Wednesday, the administrative law judge in the solar case agreed with change urged by APS and the other parties and asked the Corporation Commission to take up the issue at its next open meeting Jan. 10-11.

UPDATED: The judge's recommended amendment on grandfathering is on the Corporation Commission agenda for Jan. 10-11.

Solar Applications in Arizona - Civano - Gallery

Courtesy, Arizona Solar Center

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A house under construction in the Civano community, located 18 miles southeast of Tucson, Arizona

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The Community Center under construction. Upon completion, the Community Center was equipped with a 4.0 kWp photovoltaic power system and a solar hot water system

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Many of the homes being built at Civano use alternative building materials. This house is using straw bales

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Civano houses are designed with front porches to encourage a sense of community -- where neighbors know each other

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Many Civano homes use shading techniques to help reduce solar gain

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Local utility company, Tucson Electric Power, has guaranteed the heating and cooling portion of the Civano homes' utility bills

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The Civano Community Center under construction

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Shading and landscaping have long been used as way to keep buildings cool during Arizona summers

NOTEPhotos obtained from the photo gallery are to be used for lawful purposes only. Any commercial use must receive prior approval from the Arizona Solar Center. Credit shall be given to Photographer along with Arizona Solar Center, and no affiliation with Arizona Solar Center is to be implied.

Solar Applications in Arizona - Solar Facilities - Gallery

Courtesy, Arizona Solar Center

Covered parking with integrated PV array at the Yuma Proving Grounds

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PV power plant in Tempe

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Solar home in Phoenix

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PV powered telecommunications site

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Rooftop PV array in Central Arizona

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PV power plant in Central Arizona

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Chandler home with roof-mounted PV array


NOTE: Photos obtained from the photo gallery are to be used for lawful purposes only. Any commercial use must receive prior approval from the Arizona Solar Center. Credit shall be given to Photographer along with Arizona Solar Center, and no affiliation with Arizona Solar Center is to be implied.


  • 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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