• 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
  • Know Your Rights

    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 Read More
  • 大发体育Home Battery Systems

    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. Read More
  • 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
  • How Not to- Battery Connections

    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 Read More
  • 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

Reminder- Arizona tax credit information is available here: Arizona Tax Incentives

Federal investment tax information, including end of year rules, is available here: Federal Tax Incentives


Arizona Legislature 

Immediate Action Needed: Oppose SCR 1010

A Strike Everything resolution/bill, S.C.R. 1010 was put in motion by Senator Kerr. Per , "Proposal would let power customers avoid paying for renewable energy," this measure is a direct attack on renewable energy in Arizona. For more details

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: 大发体育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.

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 .

。

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: 

 

Interesting Technology Updates;

Battery Storage Costs Drop Dramatically, Making Way to a New Era. A recent Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) report continues to confirm that clean electrification through batteries is advancing at impressive rates. Very interesting report: 

 

 

 

 


Other Announcements

Dr. Bonnie Eberhardt Bobb, Executive Director of the Western Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, is looking for agriculture producers who are using small solar systems in their operations in Arizona who might be willing to help her with preparing ACC testimony, discussion with representatives, writing letters of support, signing petitions, etc. to further their goal of increased renewables in agriculture. She would love to hear from ag producers and listen to their stories of how solar has benefited their operations. Thank you so much. Please contact drbonnie2002@yahoo.com if you can assist.

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.

  • May 20, 2020 | 13:00 P
  • Apr 30, 2020 | 07:00 P
  • Apr 23, 2020 | 07:00 P

Interesting Videos

 

Announced 8/21/2017 4:26 PM

大发体育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
  • Future solar customers whose complete application (as noted above) is submitted on or after September 1, 2017 may be eligible for Resource Comparison Proxy (RCP) Export rate. This rate would allow customers to receive a credit for excess energy sent to the grid.

Resource Comparison Proxy (RCP) Export Rate

In addition to the typical requirements, to qualify for RCP the solar system will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Systems over 10 kW DC may not exceed 150% of the customer’s maximum one-hour peak demand over the prior 12 months. (For example, if the customer’s maximum peak demand is 8 kW, then the maximum size system installed would be 12 kW DC.)
  • The nameplate capacity cannot be larger than the following electrical service limits:
    • For 200 Amp service, a maximum of 15 kW DC
    • For 400 Amp service, a maximum of 30 kW DC
    • For 600 Amp service, a maximum of 45 kW DC
    • For 800 Amp service, a maximum of 60 kW DC

Use this link to learn more:

Interconnection Application Checklist

The checklist used to review applications has been revised to include RCP qualification criteria, and is attached for your convenience. Please use this tool to ensure applications meet the qualifications and for expeditious approval.

New Homes

In order to qualify for RCP (see RCP requirements above), customers installing solar systems over 10 kW DC on a newly constructed home that does not have established usage history will need to provide load calculations stamped by an Electrical Professional Engineer in Arizona. These load calculations will need to be uploaded to the application under the document type “New Build Load Calculations”.

Resubmittals After Approval

In order to continue our efforts to streamline the application review process, applications that have new diagrams submitted after approval (i.e. change in equipment and new diagrams are uploaded) will need to be canceled and a new application will be required. The new application will be subject to the rate rider in effect at the time the complete application is submitted. This change is effective immediately. (See below, APS has extended this) Applications with resubmittals prior to today will continue to be manually processed.  

Saver Choice Tech Plan Qualification (Formally known as R-Tech)

The Saver Choice Tech Plan Qualification application will be available online August 22, 2017。 Customers interested in this experimental rate can apply if they meet the requirements。

Use this link to learn more:

Solar Water Heater Incentive Program

The Solar Water Heater Incentive Program is now closed。 Applications that have already been submitted will remain active。

We appreciate your patience as we process the high volume of applications received over the past several months. We will continue to work with you and answer any questions that may arise during this time of transition.

大发体育If you would like more information regarding the rate review decision, please visit 。

Sincerely,

APS Renewable Energy Team

 On 8/21/2017 5:35 PM, APS Renewable Energy emailed a revision:

Stakeholders,

We are contacting you again to provide a slight change and clarification regarding resubmittals after approval, which was mentioned in the Stakeholder Communication sent today. Due to feedback and some concern regarding this change, we will be postponing this policy until after the Grandfathering 180 day period is over.

It’s important to know that equipment changes or shortages do not extend the 180 day Grandfathering period.

We appreciate your feedback and flexibility。

Sincerely,

APS Renewable Energy Team

You have received this message from APS because we thought you might be interested in this information. If you don't want to receive these messages, This email address is being protected from spambots。 You need JavaScript enabled to view it。.

An Arizona utility can’t escape being sued for anti-trust violations for the rates it sets solely because it’s a quasi-governmental entity, at least not now — if ever, a federal appeals court ruled Monday。

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments by attorneys for Salt River Project that SolarCity cannot challenge its pricing system. The appellate judges said they have no authority to consider the finding of a trial judge in Phoenix who said the challenge should be allowed to go ahead.

While Monday’s ruling is specific to SRP and its claims of immunity from suit, the implications could be broader.

Unless overturned on appeal, it means SRP ultimately could have to defend in court the rates it charges customers who want to generate their own electricity。

That could lead to rulings on how broad is the ability of utilities, all of which are monopolies, to set rates in a way that could harm other companies。 And that, in turn, could impact efforts by other Arizona utilities to increase costs to solar customers。

SRP spokesman Scott Harelson said an appeal is possible。

“We would argue that ours is a statutory pricing process and that the courts have no business setting rates,” he said. But Harelson said if the case goes to court, the company believes its rate structure — and the additional charges imposed on solar customers — can be justified.

That’s the same argument that is being advanced by utilities like Tucson Electric Power and UniSource Energy which have pending rate hike requests。

Arizona Public Service has reached a settlement with SolarCity and other solar companies. But that deal is contingent on review by a hearing officer and final approval by the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Central to the debate is whether customers who install their own rooftop solar units and generate some of their own power are effectively being subsidized by others.

Attorneys for SolarCity contend SRP’s new pricing plan approved last year amounts to a “substantial penalty” on customers.

“Because solar customers are unable to completely disconnect from SRP’s grid — they still need power in the evening hours and at other times when their energy demands exceed what their solar energy systems produce — they cannot escape SRP’s penalty,” the lawsuit contends。

That penalty, according to SolarCity lawyers, is about $600 a year, an increase of about 65 percent over prior rate plans. That compares with an average 3.9 percent increase for residential customers who buy all their power from SRP.

“Customers recognize that SRP’s new pricing plan leaves them with no choice: After the effective date of SRP’s new plan, applications for distributed solar energy systems in SRP’s territory fell by 96 percent,” the lawsuit states.

All that, the lawyers contend, are part of SRP’s illegal efforts to eliminate competition and violate anti-trust laws.

SRP, for its part, contends the fact that the rates were approved by its governing board precludes the SolarCity lawsuit. Its attorneys said there was the legally required notice and comment period, public hearings, a board vote and an opportunity to challenge the board’s decision in state court, something SolarCity chose not to do.

Beyond that, Harelson said SolarCity can’t rely on antitrust claims。 He said those laws “generally let businesses set their prices in a way that allows them to recover their costs, without regard to the impact of those prices on companies like SolarCity。”

That contention, Harelson said, is backed by the policies adopted by the Arizona Corporation Commission — which regulates utilities other than SRP — which concluded that utilities should be able to recover the cost of serving any particular group “and avoid shifting costs from solar customers to the rest of the customer base。” But the exact amount of what that figure is has to be decided on a case-by-case basis。

June 12, 2017

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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