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!

APS announces first group of ‘qualified installers’

Arizona Public Service Co. has rolled out the names of the first companies to go through an installation program with the utility. The Qualified Solar Installer program gives consumers a way of knowing which companies have gone through the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, have the proper licenses and have high customer service ratings.

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ACC Approves Tucson Community Solar Program

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has approved Tucson Electric Power's (TEP) Bright Tucson Community Solar Program, whereby participants will be able to purchase shares of solar energy for as little as $3 per month.

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Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are 12 Times Support for Renewables, Study Shows

Global subsidies for fossil fuels dwarf support given to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power and biofuels, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.

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Arizona regulators approve rules for energy efficiency

In an effort described as among the most aggressive in the nation, Arizona regulators have approved rules requiring utilities to promote energy efficiency and ultimately cut their projected power sales, a move that also will save customers money.

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AZ, IA, MI Top List of Alternative Energy Industry Leaders

Arizona, Iowa and Michigan took the top three positions in Business Facilities' new ranking for Alternative Energy Industry Leaders, released today. The alternative energy leadership ranking is a new category in the magazine's annual Rankings Report, assessing to top alternative energy manufacturers and leaders in renewable power generation in solar, wind, biofuels and advanced battery development.

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See also Arizona takes top energy spot from Arizona Republic on August 4, 2010.

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Luke Air Force Base may become a solar force

A massive solar project at Luke Air Force Base is expected to provide power for a majority of the base by 2011, strengthening the U.S. Defense Department's reputation as Arizona's biggest proponent for renewable power and energy efficiency. Military installations in the state are making aggressive strides toward saving electricity, water and fuel, as part of a federal policy plan launched in 2005 encouraging the Defense Department to get 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources.

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UK's Zephyr robo sun-plane in record-buster 2-week flight

The "Zephyr" solar-powered unmanned plane, which has been airborne continuously for the past two weeks above the Arizona desert, has made a successful landing to break several aviation records.

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Kids at Boys & Girls Club in Chandler get firsthand lesson in renewable energy

Throughout construction of the new Chandler Compadre branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley, club members had the opportunity to learn about the energy-saving features of the building.

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Unmanned solar plane smashes records

An unmanned solar aircraft has smashed the world record for continuous flight. QinetiQ's "Zephyr" aircraft has been in the air for seven days smashing all previous records for unmanned flight.

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Arizona Firm Gets $3 Million Grant for Battery Research

A Scottsdale company has been awarded $3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop more efficient batteries for industrial applications.

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PV Module Market Reaches $7.1 Billion

Solar PV module shipments increased for the fifth consecutive quarter in the second quarter of 2010 (Q1 2010) to 3.7 GW, generating $7.1 billion in revenues, according to IMS Research's latest quarterly report on the solar cell and module market.

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U.S. Departments Of Energy And Interior Select Solar Demo Site

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) have selected the southwest corner of the Nevada Test Site, a former nuclear site, as the new Solar Demonstration Zone to demonstrate cutting-edge solar energy technologies.

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Solar Plane Lands After Completing 24-Hour Flight

An experimental solar-powered plane landed in Switzerland safely Thursday after completing its first 24-hour test flight, proving that the aircraft can collect enough energy from the sun during the day to stay aloft all night.

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APS Renewables - Announcement to Installers

APS has announced two updates that they made to the residential Renewable Energy Incentive Program (REIP) on July 2nd, 2010. These updates include the Bi-Weekly Status Report e-mail and customer communication regarding their approved incentive levels.

For the complete letter, click here.

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Solar-powered plane takes off on test flight

An experimental solar-powered plane whose makers hope to one day circle the globe using only energy collected from the sun took off for its first 24-hour test flight today. Pilot André Borschberg leaves Swiss airfield in attempt to fly day and night without fuel.

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$1.45 Billion Loan Guarantee for Abengoa CSP Plant

President Obama and DOE Secretary Steve Chu have approved massive loan guarantees to solar projects in the U.S. The biggest announced project was Abengoa's 250 megawatt Solana Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) project in sunny Gila Bend, Arizona.

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Arizona Corporation Commission approves power agreement for schools, nonprofits

The Arizona Corporation Commission rejected a move to regulate solar companies selling power to schools and nonprofits. Wednesday's decision could spur growth for companies that install solar units in the state.

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Department of Energy invests $24M into algae biofuel research

The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that it will invest up to $24 million in three research groups, including one in Mesa, to advance the commercialization of algae-based biofuels.

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Also see: DOE Sees Long Road Ahead for Algae Fuels in the New York Times

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Report: Solar Energy Projected To Reach Grid Parity By 2013

The solar energy market has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past two years, driven by a new abundance of polysilicon, the effects of the worldwide financial crisis and the plunging price of solar modules, states Pike Research in a new report.

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Energy-efficient subdivision opens in Gilbert, AZ

Meritage Homes opened its first energy-efficient subdivision in Gilbert, with houses aiming to cut energy costs by 80 percent. The 210-home Lyon's Gate subdivision includes homes that meet or exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Homes ratings, officials said.

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