NewEnergyNews: ARIZONA: SOLAR AMBITIONS

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    Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    ARIZONA: SOLAR AMBITIONS

    Always wondered why the Middle East can't be "the Middle East of solar power"...maybe they don't have Arizona's ambition.

    Plugging into solar power
    Larry Copenhaver, March 24, 2007 (The Tuscon Citizen)

    WHO
    Arizona utilities, energy consumers, energy authorities and decision makers.

    WHAT
    The potential of Arizona to become "the Middle East of solar energy" by institution of legislation and financial incentives for the installation of every solar option, from business and residential photovoltaic installations as well as solar heating systems.
    Additionally, the creation of such large scale resources as Arizona Public Service (APS) Co.’s solar energy plant northwest of Tucson, a 14-acre, $6 million plant which will produce 1.3 megawatts (enough to supply 200 to 250 homes) with six rows of parabolic mirrors to track the sun, concentrate sunlight on steel tubes, and heat mineral oil in the tubes to 600 degrees Fahrenheit which heats a second fluid that vaporizes, producing steam to spin an electric turbine. And Tucson Electric Power Co.’s 2.4-megawatt solar facility near its coal-fired plant in Springerville.

    WHEN
    Presently developing. By 2025, APS plans to get up to 15 percent of its power from solar, wind and other renewable sources.

    WHERE
    Across the sun-drenched state of Arizona.

    WHY
    - Arizona is widely touted as the sunniest state in the nation although solar energy accounts for less than 1 percent of its commercial power.
    - "The world is moving toward a place where there will be a tax on pollutants, taxes that get passed onto the customer," [Valerie Rauluk, a member of the Tucson-Pima Metropolitan Energy Commission] said. "We are going to have to pay one way or the other. But by aggressively going heavily into solar energy, we are providing a hedge against those rising prices of the future."

    QUOTES
    - For Arizona to go solar, government incentives would be necessary, said Colleen Crowninshield, coordinator of the Clean Cities program for Pima County.
    - "The solar-energy industry is ready to do it," said Valerie Rauluk, a member of the Tucson-Pima Metropolitan Energy Commission. "We are just waiting to get those rules in place…One way is with a solar farm and another is to put solar panels on the roofs of large building such as Wal-Marts and Home Depots," Rauluk said. "Such installations would substantially cut fossil-fuel energy consumption and help those customers shave peak power needs."

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