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  • New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance

    While there is a growing market for organic solar cells ­­– they contain materials that are cheaper, more abundant, and more environmentally friendly than those used in typical solar panels – they also tend to be less efficient in converting sunlight to electricity than conventional solar cells. Now, scientists who are members of the Center for Computational Study of Excited-State Phenomena in Energy Materials (C2SEPEM) a new Read More
  • Arizona law protects individual homeowners’ private property rights to solar access by dissolving any local covenant, restriction or condition attached to a property deed that restricts the use of solar energy. This law sustained a legal challenge in 2000. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of homeowners in a lawsuit filed by their homeowners association seeking to force the homeowners to remove
  • Rooftop solar panels are common in Arizona thanks to abundant sunshine, but to get even more use from the technology, homeowners are beginning to pair them with large home batteries. Batteries allow homeowners to store their surplus electricity, rather than send it to the grid in exchange for credit from their electric company.
  • Solar Hot Water

    There are two types of solar water heating systems: active, which have circulating pumps and controls, and passive, which don't. The typical solar water heater is comprised of solar collectors and a well-insulated storage tank. The solar collector is a network of pipes that gathers the sun's energy, transforms its radiation into heat, and then transfers that heat to either water or a heat-transfer fluid. Read More
  • Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

    (Information provided by DSIRE - Last reviewed 02/19/2009) The information below is somewhat dated, the incentives have been extended, but reduced.  See our more up to date article. Incentive Type:   Personal Tax Credit State:   Federal Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:   Solar Water Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Fuel Cells, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Other Solar Electric Technologies Applicable Sectors:   Residential Amount:   26% Maximum Incentive:   Solar-electric systems Read More
  • Solar Building Design in Arizona

    The idea of using the sun to meet the energy needs in our buildings has been with us since the time of the Greeks, with some of the design manifestations even evident in the prehistoric structures of Arizona and the Southwest. There is a great historic tradition for Arizona buildings that utilize our most abundant resource, and the current increases in The idea of using Read More
  • Photo shows the situation after a battery discharge test at 300 amps was terminated on a 1530 AH IBE battery string when one post melted. During the discharge test all cell voltages are logged. The sum of the cell voltages was 2.73 volts lower than the 48-volt string voltage. This is an average of 118 mv per inter-cell connection, 5-10 mv is the normal range
  • 1 New Discovery Could Improve Organic Solar Cell Performance
  • 2 Know Your Rights
  • 3 Home Battery Systems
  • 4 Solar Hot Water
  • 5 Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
  • 6 Solar Building Design in Arizona
  • 7 How Not to- Battery Connections

Blogs

  1. Solar Center Blog
Brian Czech
17 February 2019

What’s Really Green and What’s Really New

Ask Americans what the Green New Deal is all about, and you’ll get two basic answers. Most often you’ll hear, “It’s about moving to renewable energy in order to fight climate change.” You’ll also hear, from a camp further right, “It’s all about socialism!”

Lucy Mason
06 January 2018

Wishing you a wonderful and Happy New Year!

The year 2017 has gone by quickly, and AriSEIA has accomplished a full and active agenda to further solar and renewable energy in Arizona. 


Featured (Note- Articles below shift Left-Right)

Some things to pay attention to in Arizona


Arizona Legislature 

Not in session

Arizona Corporation Commission 

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has posted STAFF'S THIRD REVISED PROPOSED DRAFT RULES (DOCKET no. RE-00000A-18-0284) That lay out a clearer framework for Electric Utilities to report their compliance with the proposed standards for the Renewable Energy Standard, Clean Peak Standard, Distributed Renewable Storage Requirement, and Electric Vehicle Infrastructure.

See the ACC Staff Report: docket.images.azcc.gov/E000004960.pdf

See also 

ACC Staff has made substantial changes to the draft rules that were filed on July 2, 2019 based on feedback received at each workshop held in this matter, comments to the docket, and a review of relevant energy policies across the United States.

The Nature Conservancy has submitted their report to the ACC. Interesting.

APS has submitted their report,  The Solar Center has slightly reformatted this report by rotating the pages for easier viewing.  APS has provided two presentations to address the ACC questions. Worth a read.

Update July 30, 2020: 

When the Arizona utility regulators met to decide these issues they deadlocked over whether they should increase the state's requirements for renewable energy. It proved not possible to obtain the agreement of at least three commissioners, the meeting was adjourned.

See the Arizona Republic article on this:  

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has released the  document.

With this rulemaking, the Commission adds a new Article 26, entitled " Interconnection. of Distributed Generation Facilities" to 14 A.A.C. 2, the Chapter containing the Commission's rules for fixed utilities, with the new Article 26 including 28 new rules. The rules for Interconnection of Distributed Generation Facilities ("DGI Rules") establish mandatory technical standards, processes, and timelines for utilities to use for· interconnection and parallel operation of different types of distributed generation ("DG") facilities; customer and utility rights and responsibilities; provisions for disconnection of DG facilities from the distribution system; specific safety requirements; more flexible standards for electric cooperatives; a reporting requirement; and a requirement for each utility to create, submit for initial approval and submit for approval periodically and when revised, and implement and comply with a Commission-approved Interconnection Manual.

The first dozen pages are basically legal stuff.  The document defines how an utility must review, then accept/reject/etc. an application to connect distributed generation to the utility.  It defines both customer rights and utility procedures.  There are a lot of utility, installer and customer comments along with the ACC staff recomendations. 

This is a good report that provides a conceptual framework for the Statewide Transportation Electrification Plan for Arizona, including planned or proposed near-term utility actions to support the growth of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the state.

The report is part of a filing on the Arizona Corporation Commission website: 

 Municipality Info

 

PhoenixFireLogo sm

The City of Phoenix is now (January 2020) requiring a special permit from the Fire Department for most solar systems and batteries.  The fees and required plans varies with size and content.  See this link for an application and details: 

This is in addition to a building permit from the Planning & Development Department and must be separately obtained at a different address (150 South 12th Street) or on-line via the above link. Also noted is that residential PV permits are no longer over the counter and as of March 2020 are estimated to take 29 working days to process.  Separate inspections are required.

The code requirements are contained in Phoenix-Chapter 12 BESS R-3-1.pdf

Also note: All Phoenix solar building permits are now electronic submittal only. Contact the Electronic Plan Review (EPR) Triage Team at 602-534-5933 or epr.support@phoenix.gov. For more information on EPR, visit us at .

Related: PV Rapid Shutdown Signage- Phoenix

.

 At the Federal Level

The US House passed the Moving Forward Act, H. R. 2, on July 1, 2020. The US$1.5 trillion infrastructure support bill includes a raft of measures in support of America’s clean economy. The bill proposes to extend the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) scheme to 2025. Major resistance is expected in the Senate.

More details on this bill are at: 

Additional coverage: 

Update August 4th: 07/20/2020 Senate Received in the Senate.  No action since.  Call your Senators!

The President Trump released a   on October 10, 2020 that will increase the tariff on imported solar cells and panels next year.  Bifacial solar panels will officially lose their exemption status.

The solar industry was the first market to feel the hit of tariffs brought on by Trump in 2018. Beginning in February 2018, imported crystalline silicon cells, modules and AC/integrated modules were tariffed 30% as part of a four-year outline. Imports received a 25% tariff in 2019, a 20% tariff in 2020 and were scheduled for a 15% tariff in 2021.

Update (10/15/20):  

U.S. Court of International Trade Judge Gary Katzmann refused to lift an order preventing the administration from withdrawing an exemption for two-sided, or bifacial, panels The government didn’t follow the law the first time it moved to withdraw the loophole, and it didn’t fix the procedural errors the second time it tried, Katzmann said. Katzmann said he was taking no position on whether the duties would protect the domestic solar industry “Once again, the court merely continues to...

 

 

Utility Information


Arizona Public Service Co. has announced that it plans to produce all of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050 and will get 45% of its power from renewable sources like solar and wind by the end of this decade.

This is a good improvement from the point of view of sustainable energy.  There are still a lot of details to be worked out such as the role that distributed energy will take.  Will APS APS improve its policies in regard to residential and small commercial systems.

There are several good news articles and the APS press releases on this announcement:

APS:

Arizona Republic: 

The Washington Post: 

 

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) plans to provide more than 70 percent of its power from wind and solar resources as part of a cleaner energy portfolio that will reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2035.

TEP has filed its integrated resource plan (IRP) with the Arizona Corporation Commission, outlining plans for 2.5GW of new solar and wind over the next 15 years and 1.4GW of energy storage capacity as it progressively shutters its coal power stations.

See the TEP Press Release for more information: 

TEP customers intending to install a new PV system now need to check that their system can be safely installed and connected to TEP’s grid.

TEP now has service areas that are saturated with PV systems where new PV systems are subject to additional review and requirements under Arizona’s Distributed Generation Interconnection Rules. TEP has prepared DG Saturation Maps showing these areas.

This further described at 

This requirement stems from the recent Distributed Generation Interconnection Rules issued by the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Further information is available at:Interconnection of Distributed Generation Facilities

Update: See the related article on tucson.com: 

 

 

  

Interesting Technology Updates;

 

 

 

 


Other Announcements

Events

No result.

General News

Caution- News leads open in new windows. Warning- These news links are automatically generated by others such as Google News and are not reviewed by the Arizona Solar Center, Inc. We are not responsible for link content.

  • Nov 17, 2020 | 13:51 P
  • Nov 9, 2020 | 08:00 P
  • Oct 29, 2020 | 07:00 P
  • Nov 19, 2020 | 11:07 P
  • Nov 19, 2020 | 11:00 P
  • Sep 17, 2020 | 05:30 P

Interesting Videos

Arizona Solar Jobs Declined in 2018

America now has over 242,000 solar workers, and Arizona has about 7,524 of these jobs, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2018. These jobs are providing clean, affordable, renewable energy in all 50 states. In 2017 the Jobs Census reported 8,381 Arizona Solar Jobs, making for a 10% decrease.  Several factors are at play, the most important of which appears to be the policies of Arizona electric utilities regarding credits for any excess energy and reducing buyback rates.  This has lowered the potential savings of having your own photovoltaic (PV) system. See our article Arizona Electric Utility Information.

The situation is not expected to improve soon due to Federal actions such as the tariffs on some imported PV modules and the coming reduction in the Federal Investment Tax Credit rates starting in 2020.  Those desiring to purchase a PV system should consider doing it now.  APS customers need to be mindful of the August 31st application deadlines to lock in buyback rates for 20 years.

TSF Logo 2014 tagThe full report is available at: 

There is also a good related article in 

REC Silicon to suspend production at Moses Lake, Washington poly factory

February 12, 2019

Tariffs on  Chinese polysilicon imports as part of the 2014 trade dispute over Chinese solar panels and American polysilicon have caused REC Silicon to suspend operations at its Moses Lake, Washington polysilicon production facility in the USA from March 1. China imposed tariffs on polysilicon imports from the U.S. in 2014 in response to the U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels, effectively cutting off REC Silicon and other producers in the USA from the world’s largest market.

More information at: 

Update on :

Norwegian polysilicon and silane gas company REC Silicon ASA is fast approaching its effective exit from the solar market after revealing in its second-quarter update it had sold off the last 62 MT of PV-grade poly produced at its plant in Moses Lake, Washington, which has been shuttered for over a year.

The import duties applied on U.S.-made polysilicon by the Chinese authorities which have effectively shut REC out of the world’s biggest market prompted the company to close its Moses Lake fluidized bed reactor facility in the second quarter of last year. As a result, the company’s solar materials division generated revenue of only $300,000 in the April-to-June window as it contributed a $2.3 million hit to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, following a $2.8 million deficit to the bottom line in the first three months of the year.

Arizona Electric Utility Information

The policies of the various Arizona electric utilities are very important to the implementation of Distributed Generation (solar electric, etc.) in Arizona.

The Solar Center will use this web space to describe the various utility policies.

aps logoAPS

Effective September 1st 2017 APS implemented a new schedule of solar rates:

APS Solar rate changes- 2017

The days of residential net metering are now long gone, APS now uses meters that measure the instantaneous export power and APS credits this monthly at $0.1161 per kWh (for new PV systems with applications completed before August 31, 2019).  APS On-Peak Energy Charges in the Summer range from $0.24314 down to $0.05750, depending on rate schedule and the corresponding demand charge.  A simple summary is available at http://jfjd98.com/summary-of-residential-rate-plans-for-aps-customers-with-an-on-site-distributed-generation-system It is difficult to determine an optimum rate selection. One factor to consider is that APS charges a monthly Grid Access fee of $0.93 per kWdc of the PV array rating.  This adds up over the years and needs to be considered when deciding on an array rating.

There are residential PV system size limits: The PV array nameplate capacity cannot be larger than the following electrical service limits:

a) For 200 Amp service, a maximum of 15 kW-dc.

b) For 400 Amp service, a maximum of 30 kW-dc.

c) For 600 Amp service, a maximum of 45 kW-dc.

d) For 800 Amp service and above, a maximum of 60 kW-dc

For commercial systems APS offers net metering (Rate Rider EPR-6) and has a size limit that the facility’s nameplate capacity cannot be larger than 150% of the customer’s maximum one-hour peak demand measured in AC over the prior twelve (12) months.

Other APS specific information:

srpSRP

Residential solar customers are required to the use the E-27 rate schedule with its high demand rates, but low energy rates.  Any monthly excess is credited at $0.037 to $0.0633 per kWh, much lower than APS.  SRP does not have a monthly fee based on PV array or inverter size. If the PV system is over-sized, the excess energy is only worth $0.037 to $0.0633 per kWh.

For commercial PV systems SRP uses an hourly net metering procedure (BUYBACK SERVICE RIDER) in which any excess balance each hour is purchased by SRP at the Hourly Indexed Energy Price - $0.00017/kWh, basically the wholesale energy price at Palo Verde less a small handling charge.  This averages $0.020 to $0.030 per kWh.  This procedure makes it difficult to accurately forecast value of any excess credits.

Other SRP specific information:

 

tep 2019 logo 

TEP will per kilowatt hour (kWh) for their systems' excess power (note: this is not net metering), a price that reflects average market costs over a recent five-year period (TEP Statement of Charges as of October 1, 2019). Customers who file applications after Sept. 30, 2019 to install private rooftop solar systems will keep their initial export rate for up to 10 years. The export rate will be updated annually to reflect market prices for solar power, but will not be allowed to fall more than 10 percent. New solar customers also can choose from two existing Time-of-Use pricing plans, which offer lower rates during most of the day, on weekends and holidays. TEP offers Fast Track™ easy approval for simple PV systems of 10 kWac or less. See

See also the TEP announcement Tucson Electric Power (TEP) to provide 70% of its energy from solar and wind by 2035

 

NEC Logo with TouchstoneNavopache Electric Cooperative

Navopache Electric Cooperative is non-profit member-owned distribution cooperative, serving over 33,000 members across the White Mountains of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. Navopache still (Feb 2019) offers Net Metering.  Their basic policy is spelled out in their

 

Sulphur Springs logosunWatts logoSULPHUR SPRINGS VALLEY ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.

All kWh delivered by SSVEC to the Customer will be billed on the rate charged to the Customer under the applicable Standard Rate Schedule.
All kWh received from Customer (Customer produced excess energy) will be credited on a monthly basis by SSVEC to the Customer at the Distributed Generation Energy Export
(“DGEE”) Rate as defined below. Customer excess energy cannot be “banked,” “saved,” or “rolled forward” for use in a future month.There is no Annual True-Up month under this Schedule DG as the accounts are truedup monthly.

Distributed Generation Energy Export (DGEE) Rate shall be defined as follows:
Year 1 (2018) DGEE Rate $0.071165 per kWh
Year 2 (2019) DGEE Rate $0.064049 per kWh
Year 3 (2020) DGEE Rate $0.057644 per kWh
Year 4 (2021) DGEE Rate $0.051879 per kWh
Year 5 (2022) DGEE Rate $0.046691 per kWh
Year 6 (2023) DGEE Rate $0.041310 per kWh
Year 7 (2024 and beyond) DGEE Rate RCP Rate as updated annually.

Intro to arizonagoessolar.org website

 

 

APS Rate Case - Higher rates, solar changes now effective as of September 1st

APS customers had until August 31, 2017 to submit complete interconnection applications to APS in order to be grandfathered under earlier solar policy.  Basic rates have increased and net metering was eliminated, replaced by a fixed purchase rate that starts at $0.129 per kwhr and will decrease in the future.  Further details are posted in a link below.

Quick APS Links:




(also see the note below for additional information)

The Arizona Solar Center has put together an unofficial summary of the new APS rate schedules for new solar customers, click here.

On August 21, 2017 APS emailed the following information to Stakeholders (but it does not seem to be on the APS website):

Stakeholders,

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has approved a decision in our rate review, and we are happy to share some details with you affecting our solar customers. We appreciate your support in delivering this message to customers and will be glad to help you with any questions you may have. For your reference, attached are letters that were sent to customers regarding grandfathering. Other resources are available at .

Grandfathering

  • Current solar customers that are interconnected to the APS grid will remain grandfathered for 20 years from the date of interconnection.
    • The grandfathering stays with the premise. Systems transferred to a new premise will require a new application, and the customer would no longer be eligible for EPR-6.
    • Over the terms of the grandfathering period, a customer may not increase the capacity of their grandfathered solar system by more than a total of 10% or 1 kW, whichever is greater.
  • Customers who submit a complete application by 11:59 p.m. August 31, 2017 will be eligible for grandfathering. The system would need to be installed and have AHJ approval by February 28, 2018 in order to qualify. A complete application includes all of the following:
    • Customer Application
    • Executed Contract
    • Disclaimer
    • Consumer Acknowledgement
    • Installer Application
    • Three Line Diagram
    • Site Plan

On January 18th APS emailed the following information to Stakeholders (but it does not seem to be on the APS website):

Stakeholder Communication January 18, 2018

Stakeholders,

We hope you all had a great holiday, and Happy New Year!

The February 28, 2018 installation deadline for grandfathering is quickly approaching, and we want to remind you of the following:

  • Upgrading a Service Entrance Section (SES) can take up to 4-6 weeks.
    • When submitting your service request, best practice is to include a copy of the permit and site photos
  • Derates are currently taking 2-3 weeks to schedule depending on volume.
  • An installed system means that APS has received the approval (green tag) from the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) by February 28.
    • If there is a delay by the AHJ, APS would require proof that the request for inspection was made with reasonable time for the AHJ to process prior to the deadline. i.e. copy of the request sent to the AHJ. 
      • If you know that a municipality takes two weeks to inspect, your request should be in by February 14.
      • If your inspection is not completed by the deadline, be sure to keep the proof of your inspection request to provide to APS.
    • As a reminder, the high volume of applications and grandfathering deadline will increase inspection requests to the AHJs. Please plan accordingly.

All applications that do not meet the firm February 28 installation deadline will be eligible for  (Resource Comparison Proxy). If the system is over 10 kW, we will review the application again for RCP qualification. If the system does not meet the qualifications, we will notify all parties on the application.

Rate Changes – The deadline for grandfathered solar customers to change rates was August 31, 2017. Requests after that date to change from one grandfathered rate to a different grandfathered rate will not be accepted. Please be sure to advise customers that if they are grandfathered, they can either:

  • Keep their current rate plan, or,
  • Choose a new rate plan, which would effectively forfeit their grandfathering.

A letter will be sent to customers to remind them of the deadlines mentioned above.

Sincerely,

APS Renewable Energy Team

About

  • Welcome to the Arizona Solar Center

     This is your source for solar and renewable energy information in Arizona. Explore various technologies, including photovoltaics, solar water heating, solar architecture, solar cooking and wind power. Keep up to date on the latest industry news. Follow relevant lectures, expositions and tours. Whether you are a homeowner looking to become more energy efficient, a student learning the science behind the technologies or an industry professional, you will find valuable information here.
  • About The Arizona Solar Center

    About The Arizona Solar Center Arizona Solar Center Mission- The mission of the Arizona Solar Center is to enhance the utilization of renewable energy, educate Arizona's residents on solar technology developments, support commerce and industry in the development of solar and other sustainable technologies and coordinate these efforts throughout the state of Arizona. About the Arizona Solar Center- The Arizona Solar Center (AzSC) provides a broad-based understanding of solar energy, especially as it pertains to Arizona. Registered Read More
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