Thu, Dec 14, 2017
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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!

Energy upgrades paying off for CG Elementary

Casa Grande elementary schools looked like energy gluttons compared to other U.S. schools in 2008. The average on the Energy Star rating scale, which runs from 1 to 100, was 50. Casa Grande Elementary District schools averaged 7.58. Cactus Middle School and Saguaro Elementary School each scored a 1. The more energy efficient the school, the higher the number .By Oct. 7 of this year, the average of the district's schools was slightly better than the national average at 50.42.

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African Huts Far From the Grid Glow With Renewable Power

For Sara Ruto, the desperate yearning for electricity began last year with the purchase of her first cellphone, a lifeline for receiving small money transfers, contacting relatives in the city or checking chicken prices at the nearest market. But charging the phone was no simple matter in this farming village far from Kenya's electric grid. Thanks to a solar panel, Sara Ruto no longer takes a three-hour taxi ride to a town with electricity to recharge her cellphone.

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Work of ASU professors brings solar panels to Chino Valley

Chino Valley Mayor Jim Bunker recognized Arizona State University professors Govindasamy "Mani" Tamizhmani and James Subach with Notices of Commendation at a Town Hall meeting in November for their contribution to the town's acquisition of solar panels. Both are professors in the College of Technology and Innovation at ASU's Polytechnic campus.

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Solar Energy Telescope Receives $1 Million Grant

Roger Angel, an internationally celebrated US researcher in the field of solar energy and optics, has been awarded a USD$1 million grant by the Science Foundation of Arizona (SFAz) to continue his pioneering work on concentrating solar power using an "energy telescope."

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Abengoa gets money backing

Abengoa Solar has finalized a $1.45 billion federal loan guarantee to keep its large solar power plant near Gila Bend moving forward. The company announced Tuesday it had completed work on the guarantee, which was issued by the U.S. Department of Energy in July for the 280-megawatt Solana Generating Station concentrated solar power project.

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U.S. Solar PV Doubles In 2010

The latest report from the American Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), in conjunction with GTM Research, looks at the latest growth figures of the entire solar industry across the US and should make for sunny reading for installers and manufacturers of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in that country.

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U.S. eyes major solar energy advances

Six states in the western United States were identified by the federal government as potential solar energy zones, two Cabinet officials announced. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Energy Secretary Steven Chu said an environmental analysis identified public land in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah as suitable for utility-scale solar energy projects.

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Joint venture lights up local renewable energy industry

(Prescott, AZ) Two new joint projects between SunEdison and Arizona Public Service (APS) are turning the tri-city area into a hotspot for renewable energy. SunEdison and the utility announced plans Friday morning during a press conference at the Hassayampa Inn to bring two solar farms with thousands of photovoltaic panels to the community beginning next year.

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IREC Releases Comprehensive Report on Net Metering in Competitive Electricity Markets

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has released a new report today, The Intersection of Net Metering and Retail Choice: an overview of policy, practice and issues, detailing the methodologies states use to accomplish 'net metering' in competitive electricity markets.

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Report: $723M in Solar Net Exports from the U.S.

The 11th-hour lobbying effort continues from a solar trade group that wants Congress to extend a program created by the stimulus package that pay for 30 percent of the cost of installing solar power projects. The latest salvo came in the form of a report that touted the United States as a net exporter of solar energy equipment worth $723 million in 2009.

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Arizona solar industry thrives

Michael Neary remembers when the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association was a tiny trade group made up primarily of businesses that installed and maintained solar water heaters and rooftop panels. But all that changed two years ago, when its 40-member roster more than doubled as real estate firms, law offices, tool suppliers, staffing companies, electricians and plumbing distributors suddenly became eager to join the mix.

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Solar Energy’s Cloudy Future

The future of renewables is bright, but not necessarily rosy.

Wide-eyed optimism over the promise of renewable energy is giving way to the more sober reality that the new energy economy will look a lot like the old. Coal, natural gas and nuclear will continue to be preeminent while renewables slowly gain market share.

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America’s largest solar PV plant completed in Nevada

Arizona firm First Solar has completed America's largest solar photovoltaic plant, a 48-megawatt facility in Boulder City, Nevada. The company supplied solar panels as well as engineering, procurement and construction services for the Copper Mountain Solar facility on behalf of energy company Sempra Generation.

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Utilities' Solar Spending to Double Each Year in U.S. to 2015, GTM Says

U.S. utilities may double investments in solar power generation each year through 2015 as states demand more renewable energy and equipment prices fall, consultant GTM Research said. Installations of so-called utility-scale solar projects will reach about 3,000 megawatts annually, worth $8 billion, in five years from 58 megawatts in 2009, GTM analyst Shayle Kahn forecast in a report.

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Renewables Are the New 'Space Race' for the U.S., Official Says

Steven Chu, a longtime professor who is now secretary of energy, says the United States is facing a crucial test. With the rest of the developed and developing world moving toward renewable and cleaner energy technologies, he said in a speech Monday, the time is now for the nation to seize the initiative.

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Renewable Distributed Energy Generation Market Predicted To Triple

The global electric power industry is evolving from a financial and engineering model that relies on large centralized power plants owned by the utilities to one that is more diverse in both sources of generation and ownership of the generation assets, according to a new report from Pike Research.

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Who would benefit most from solar energy?

Americans have become more and more concerned with the idea of using cleaner energy sources and creating new jobs through the use of solar energy. A new study from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University takes a closer look at which states might benefit the most both from generating solar energy and from consuming that energy. These are believed to be the first state rankings of their kind.

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SRP reviewing policy on renewables

Salt River Project will re-evaluate policies for subsidizing rooftop solar panels and buying electricity from wind, solar and other renewable-energy plants. Officials voted Tuesday to review the SRP "sustainable portfolio," a policy put in place in 2004 and revised in 2006 that sets guidelines for the utility to get 15 percent of its energy from renewable power sources and conservation by 2025.

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Largest PV Facility in the World | Landmark Solar Expansion in Ontario, Canada

Enbridge, Inc. and First Solar, Inc. have recently completed expansion of a solar panel installation in Sarnia, Ontario, making it the largest PV installation in the world. The site, which previously operated at a capacity of 20MW, is now capable of producing 80MW of solar electricity.

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APS renewable plan boosts rate, projects

Arizona Public Service Co.'s renewable energy plan for 2011, calls for a slight bump in bills while laying the groundwork for more solar installations. The plan, OK'd by the Arizona Corporation Commission, also calls for incentives and development of $96 million in renewable projects, rooftop solar and other items.

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