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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!

NREL Study Shows Power Grid Can Accommodate Large Increase In Wind And Solar Generation

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Western Wind and Solar Integration Study examines the benefits and challenges of integrating enough wind and solar energy capacity into the grid to produce 35 percent of its electricity by 2017. The study finds that this target is technically feasible and does not necessitate extensive additional infrastructure, but does require key changes to current operational practice.

Read more...

For additional analysis, see Release of the "Western Wind and Solar Integration Study" by the Stoel Rives Renewable Energy Initiative.

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SEIA Report: Arizona’s solar economy could expand with federal help

Arizona's solar economy could add an additional 7,000 jobs over the next six years, providing the federal government extends two key provisions bolstering the industry, a report released this week said.

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Phoenix solar event open to the public

People interested in speaking with companies from around the world that design and build solar-power systems or who are looking for a job in that field have a $5 opportunity to do so Saturday. The American Solar Energy Society is opening its Solar 2010 convention in Phoenix to the public, offering a chance to speak with more than 200 renewable-energy companies.

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More information is also available on the AZ Solar Center Calendar here.

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Sulphur Springs utility garners SEPA honor

The Solar Electric Power Association, an educational and research nonprofit focused on helping utilities integrate solar into their operations, has recognized Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative as the top utility in terms of increased utilization of solar power based on watts per customer during 2009.

Read more... (Headline changed from original.)

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SEPA's Top Ten Solar Utilities Report Shows Strong Solar Growth

Yesterday, the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) unveiled its third-annual top ten utility solar rankings. The organization said that overall growth in solar integration by utilities defined 2009.

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National Solar Conference is Coming to Phoenix

The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) has selected Phoenix as the location of its National Solar Energy Conference in 2010. Commonly known as SOLAR 2010, it’s the premier conference on renewable energy and energy efficiency in the nation – and one of the largest.

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Ariz. small towns receive energy grants

Arizona's small towns and counties have been granted $4.8 million from the Recovery Act to help insulate their buildings and save energy.

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New Solar Inspired, Eco-Friendly Gallery Opens May 23 at Arizona Science Center

Arizona Science Center announces the grand opening of its newly renovated gallery, Solarville, located in the APS Solar Gallery on Level 4. Focused on sustainability, this hands-on gallery takes you on a stroll through scientific labs, not only studying the sun, but also how we harness and distribute sustainable green energy-from algae, to alternative fuels, to poop!

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Japanese town to test solar-to-electric cars

A Japanese town near Tokyo is about to become a test community for cars that run mainly on solar energy, several companies announced Wednesday.

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Solar power news highlights: U.S. & abroad

Researchers from Germany's Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) recently announced a new record for thin-film solar cell efficiency of 20.1 percent, beating a previously-held mark by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).

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Kerry - Lieberman Proposal Scales Back Energy Efficiency Provisions

The compromise Kerry-Lieberman proposal released today misses out on a key opportunity to address the cost of curbing climate change by including little on energy efficiency. The Kerry-Lieberman proposal does much less for energy efficiency than previous major climate change bills. Relative to the climate bills passed by the House, two major energy efficiency provisions have been dramatically reduced.

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Solon Equips Arizona Schools with Solar Power Systems

Solon Corporation will equip several schools in Arizona with photovoltaic systems by the end of 2010. The project capacity is planned to be a total of 8.7 megawatts (MW). The first sub-project was completed last year with the commissioning of a 1 MW system in December 2009.

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Solar-powered lodge unveiled at KOA

The Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA is the first of 475 Kampground of America locations spread across North America to offer the "off-grid lodging" experience. Project officials on Monday unveiled a solar-powered lodge near the banks of West Canada Creek.

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2010 UA solar car goes high tech

It's like your car, with rear view mirrors, headlights and turn signals. Except this car is 100% solar powered. It's the 2010 model of The University of Arizona solar car.

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Solar Phoenix gains national attention

Solar Phoenix has seen encouraging results as the partnership between the city, SolarCity and National Bank of Arizona closes its fourth month. There even is talk of taking it national.

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Regulator wants more solar power from utilities

Corporation Commissioner Paul Newman issued a statement asking for support and feedback on a proposal to increase the requirement that utilities get 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources, such as solar, by 2025.

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GE & APS to Study Impact of Solar Energy Grid Penetration

With energy experts forecasting substantial increases in solar power in the coming decades, GE researchers are working with Arizona Public Service, the state's largest electric utility, to understand how large amounts of solar can best be integrated into today's grid.

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Yuma Airport going solar with shade panels

Yuma International Airport has signed a contract for shaded parking, but it's about more than keeping the hot sun off parked vehicles. The sunshades will actually be solar panels that will provide the electricity needed to keep the lights on and computers humming at the airport's passenger terminal.

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Cowley Cos., Empire Power Systems team on state’s largest rooftop solar system

Empire Power Systems and Cowley Cos. will team on the largest rooftop solar system in the state, a 2.4-megawatt system slated for a building owned by Cowley near 27th Avenue and Buckeye Road in Phoenix. The 850,000-square-foot building will have more than 6.5 acres of solar modules.

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Board approves solar panels on downtown Phoenix structures

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement on Monday to install solar photovoltaic energy systems on three downtown county structures. The solar arrays will save an estimated $870,000 in energy costs over 20 years to give a welcome boost to the solar energy industry in Arizona.

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