ARIZONA POLICY TO PROMOTE SOLAR
Arizona’s political leaders want to turn the state into the U.S. capital of solar energy. They have the sun. All they need is the policy. Bradley D. Collins, executive director, American Solar Energy Society (ASES): "It's a competition among states to put together the most inviting package for manufacturers to locate in a state…It's not an arms race but an incentive challenge."
The point is to make solar energy installations affordable. More local manufacturers are likely bring prices down. So is building volume. Ken Clark, lobbyist, Arizona Clean Power Alliance: "The more of this stuff we install, the cheaper it's going to get…The reason arguably renewable energy is not as cheap as gas or coal is that we're only just starting to build these things in large scale. We've been building coal- and gas-fired plants for 100 years."
Representative Lucy Mason, a Republican from Prescott is co-sponsor of 4 of Arizona’s 6 incentive initiatives. The people of that state need to elect her to John McCain’s Senate seat and send her to Washington to knock some sense into the recalcitrant Republicans there obstructing national New Energy incentives.
This is actually sort of funny: Arizona's solar assets are so dense the map is uniformly red, instead of the usual shades of red, orange and yellow. Red represents the highest level of solar power potential. (click to enlarge)
Six Az bills would promote use of solar energy
Grayson Steinberg, February 28, 2008 (Cronkite News Service via Tucson Citizen)
Arizona state legislators; Rep. Lucy Mason (R-Prescott); Rep. Steve Farley (D-Tucson); Bradley D. Collins, executive director, American Solar Energy Society (ASES); Arizona Corporation Commission (Kris Mayes, member)
There are at least 6 bills designed to promote the development of solar energy making their way through the Arizona legislature. Rep. Mason is co-sponsor of 4 of them.
Arizona's ambitious political atmosphere is already having a big impact: Spain's Abengoa Solar will build the world's biggest solar power plant near Gila Bend, incorporating sun-tracking trough technology. (click to enlarge)
- The Arizona Corporation Commission requires Arizona public utilities to obtain 15% of their electricity from New Energy by 2025.
- HB 2766 (sponsored by Rep. Mason w/Chad Campbell (D-Phoenix) and Marian McClure (R-Tucson) requires (1) that by 2013 state agencies, universities and school districts get 10% of their power from New Energy and (2) public buildings to bring energy consumption 30% below 2001 levels by 2030. Mason calls it the Omnibus Energy Act of 2008.
Another impact of Arizona's new political policies: Global Solar Energy will build the world's biggest CIGS thin film plant in Tuscon. (click to enlarge)
- Arizona presently has a 12-megawatt solar energy capacity.
- System costs are expected to go down if manufacturers are in-state, resulting in the building of more solar capacity .
- Existing tax breaks: $1000 tax credit to homeowners who install a solar system. $50,000 to businesses that install a solar system.
- HB 2613 (sponsored by Mason w/Tom Prezelski (D-Tucson) and Sen. Richard Miranda (D-Phoenix) would provide property tax breaks for 2+ megawatt New Energy power plants and for New Energy hardward manufacturers.
- HB 2615 (sponsored by Rep. Mason w/Ed Ableser (D-Tempe) and Michele Reagan (R-Scottsdale) would standardize and streamline the city and county building inspection and permit process and fees.
- HB 2738 (sponsored by Rep. Farley) would establish state grants to fund solar installations for schools.
This early version of the Stirling concentrator has been sitting out in the Arizona desert since 1996 waiting for the state's leaders to wake up. $100/barrel oil seems to have awakened them. (click to enlarge)
- Rep. Lucy Mason (R-Prescott): "We certainly have the ability to become the solar capital of the Western Hemisphere…"
- Rep. Mason, on the value of incentives to bring solar energy industry manufacturing to Arizona: "We've been on the radar screen of these industry moguls for quite a while…The thing that's missing all along is the correct policy programs."
- Kris Mayes, member, Arizona Corporation Commission, on the Mason legislation: "I think it's a very important piece of the puzzle when it comes to spurring the renewable energy industry in Arizona…"