Tag Archives: APS

recycling

APS, SRP Warn Customers of Fraud Attempts

APS and SRP want customers to stay safe this holiday season and be aware of potential fraud attempts. Both companies have received reports of individuals falsely claiming to represent APS or SRP to collect payment for electric service.

Several customers in the Phoenix metropolitan area have received telephone call from an individual who claims to represent the utility providers or makes a generic reference to the “electric or power company.”

The fraudulent caller claims the customer has an overdue bill and service will be disconnected if payment isn’t made immediately. The scam artist then asks the customer to take one of three actions:

  • Make the payment over the phone via credit card
  • Visit a payment kiosk where the caller will provide an account number to use for payment
  • Wire the money to an account via Western Union.

As a reminder, APS or SRP customer service representatives never call customers to ask for credit card numbers or personal information or to remind them of a delinquent balance. Customers are notified of delinquent balances and shut-off dates via the APS/SRP bill. Some customers also may receive text messaging, an automated dialer message and/or a door hanger.

Customers should always use their personal APS or SRP account number when using the various payment options available to them. Payments are not accepted by field personnel.
Utility representatives may not always wear uniforms with the APS or SRP logo.  However, all permanent employees are required to carry identification. On occasion, the companies use contract workers who are required to carry a letter of introduction from APS or SRP. If there ever is a question about the validity of a person claiming to be an APS or SRP representative, customers are urged to ask for an employee identification number and to call the APS Customer Care Center at (602) 371-7171 or the SRP Customer Services at 602-236-8888 to verify employee status.

If a person is misrepresenting himself/herself as a utility employee, customers should immediately call local law enforcement and the FTC at 1-877-382-4357, using reference number 401625543, if they are a victim of this fraudulent activity or receive a similar call from a scam artist.

The fake calls are being made to both English- and Spanish-speaking customers.  SRP has reported the activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electric utility, serves more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the largest subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (NYSE:PNW).

SRP is the largest provider of electricity to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 950,000 customers in Maricopa and Pinal counties. SRP is also the largest supplier of raw water in the great Phoenix metropolitan area.

legends

Legends district partners with Southwestern Eye Center

The Legends Entertainment District, a first-of-its-kind joint venture between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns, announced a new partnership with Southwestern Eye Center that features the District’s first static super graphic with a 3-D embellishment. The announcement was made by Legends Entertainment District General Manager Judd Norris.

“The Legends Entertainment District continues to break the mold of traditional ‘billboard’ advertising by bringing to life its first three-dimensional concept,” said Norris. “Southwestern Eye Centers challenged us to do something unique and memorable. Taking that into account, we were able to bring their already recognizable glasses campaign to life on a 36’ x 42’ super graphic. The glasses are so unique that the creator of the image, BlueMedia, has submitted the design into several marketing concept competitions.”

The first-of-its-kind graphic is located on the Phoenix Convention Center Garage at the corner of 5th Street and Jefferson, across from Chase Field. It is one of 36 static signs in the District that also features four LED signs, six window graphics and five custom signs.

“As a locally based company celebrating 30 years in business, we are excited to be part of something that hasn’t been done before,” said Southwestern Eye Center Vice President and General Counsel Shane Armstrong. “We value the opportunity to work with Legends on this advanced project and to be part of the revitalization efforts downtown.”

Celebrating 30 years in business this year, Southwestern Eye Center, founded in 1982, is dedicated to providing the best possible care for patients seeking or in need of LASIK, cataract surgery, retinal surgery, cosmetic surgery or glaucoma evaluations and treatment throughout the Metro Phoenix area and rural communities of Arizona. With several accomplished specialists in the areas of LASIK, cataracts, retina, glaucoma and cosmetics, Southwestern Eye Center is able to provide patients in Arizona and New Mexico with improved vision by using some of the most advanced and sophisticated techniques and technologies available today. There are 23 Southwestern Eye Center locations in Arizona and three in New Mexico. For more information, visit www.sweye.com.

Southwestern Eye Center joins a growing list of partners for the Legends Entertainment District, including APS, Anheuser-Busch, Chevrolet, Fox Sports Arizona, Fry’s Food Stores, Gila River Casinos, AZ Family, MillerCoors, AZ Pain Centers, Cox Communications, Dodge and the Arizona Rattlers, among others.

The Legends Entertainment District offers customized, larger than life out of home opportunities that run 18 hours a day, 365 days a year. The project was designed to encompass landmark downtown facilities, extending from 1st Avenue to 7th Street and Washington to Jackson Street.

In addition to the corporate partnership signage, the Legends Entertainment District provides digital informational programming in the form of LED news tickers and other relevant content that can change on a moment’s notice.

Nearly two billion individual LED lights are used to illuminate the Legends Entertainment District, which includes 13 screens for a total of 6,819 square feet of LED and over 50,000 square feet of static signage. The fiber optic cable laid end to end is 228 miles in length, which is equal to the distance driving from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. The Legends Entertainment District includes nearly 100,000 pounds (50 tons) of steel and more than 140,000 feet of electrical wire.

Downtown Phoenix attracts more than eight million visitors annually at over 700 events, while 57,000 office workers are based out of the area. For more information about the Legends Entertainment District, visit www.legendsentertainmentdistrict.com.

minorities

Summit spotlights impact of minority-owned companies

Fifteen corporations and nonprofits that do tens of millions in contracts with minority-owned companies in Arizona, and the release of a detailed new, post-recession survey of minority-owned business will be among the highlights of the 2012 Minority Business Enterprise Summit in downtown Phoenix Friday.

The 2012 Minority Business Enterprise Summit was organized by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Phoenix MBDA Business Center . The event takes place Nov. 16, 2012, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at Renaissance Hotel Downtown, 50 East Adams Street in Phoenix.

“The summit speaks to the growing influence of minority-owned businesses in Arizona and the historic demographic shift that’s helping reshape the economy of our state and our nation,” said Gonzalo de la Melena, president and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which operates the federally-funded Phoenix MBDA Business Center.

MBE summit highlights include:

* The release of the 2012 Minority Business Enterprise Report (the first-of-its-kind since 2007) regarding the state of minority-owned businesses in Arizona.
* Inaugural inductions into the Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence: Leading the Way in Supplier Diversity recognizing corporations and non-profits that do at least $1 million in business with minority- and women-owned companies in Arizona.
* The annual presentation of the Minority Enterprise Development Awards.

The 2012 MBE Report will be released during a Friday morning presentation starting at 10 a.m. The report was conducted by Westgroup Research and designed to serve as a resource for businesses, organizations, educators, government agencies and individuals who want to help Arizona MBEs succeed.

The report’s findings include:
* About 78% of the MBEs in Arizona have less than 10 employees.
* Nearly one-quarter of MBEs did not feel they were treated with respect when applying for a loan.
* Among survey participants, the median gross revenue in 2011 was $215,000 with a median staff size of four employees.
* Minority business owners are optimistic about the future — 63% feel their financial situation will improve in the next 12 months.

During the Summit’s Friday luncheon, 15 companies and governmental organizations will be inducted in the Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence. AZHCC President De la Melena said the this initiative breaks new ground by recognizing major corporations and governmental entities that directly spend at least $1 million purchasing goods or services from minority-owned and women-owned businesses in Arizona. Several of the companies individually spend tens of millions annually contracting with minority- and women-owned firms. The project also is intended to promote and share best practices regarding supply-chain diversity, said de la Melena.

The AZ Million Dollar Circle of Excellence is co-chaired by Donald E. Brandt, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Arizona Public Service, and Lorena Valencia, President/CEO, Reliance Wire & Cable and a member of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Arizona Public Service is a major purchaser of good and services from minority- and women-owned companies and the presenting sponsor for the summit and the 2012 MBE Report.

“Our state is rapidly becoming a national leader for diverse business supplier programs,” said APS’s Brandt, whose company has spent about $1.5 billion with women- and minority-owned businesses since 1992. “All of Arizona benefits from the jobs that are created and the resulting competition that leads to better goods and services. For our state to achieve its full economic potential, Arizona businesses must continue to seek out qualified diverse suppliers, hire them and put them in a position to succeed.”

De la Melena added, “The induction of the inaugural members of Arizona Million Dollar Circle of Excellence is our way of recognizing companies that are doing the right thing by ensuring they have diverse supply chain.”

The MBE Summit luncheon will also honor the winners of the annual Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards which recognize the achievements of minority-owned companies in the Southwest.

MINORITY CONSTRUCTION FIRM OF THE YEAR, Fortis Networks, Inc., Reyna & Clarence McAllister

MINORITY TECHNOLOGY FIRM OF THE YEAR, 360 Vantage, Mario Martinez

MINORITY FIRM OF THE YEAR, Technology Integration Group, Ying McGuire

ACCESS TO CAPITAL AWARD, Prestamos CDFI LLC

Untitled

AWEE presents 2012 Faces of Success

A formerly homeless veteran who lost his hearing from an explosion in Vietnam, an ex-offender who chose drugs over her children and today counsels individuals in similar circumstances, and a Baltimore transplant who had to rely on the financial support of family when she couldn’t find a fulltime job despite a steady work history will tell their turnaround stories and be honored at the 18th annual Faces of Success Luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 15 at The Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.

The annual fund-raising luncheon supports Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE), a workforce development organization using a diverse range of evidence-based training and support services to advance Arizona’s workforce and change the lives of women, men, young adults and special populations through the dignity of work.

Also at the luncheon, Michelle King Robson, who overcame life-threatening health issues to start the widely praised social health website EmpowHER.com for women will receive the Jeanne Lind Herberger Award.

More than 700 people are expected at the luncheon, which is presented by Bank of America.  Registration and reception begin at 11 a.m.   The highly entertaining, rapid-fire program of giveaways, raffles and remarkably moving stories of success will be co-hosted by television personality Tara Hitchcock and Alfredo J. Molina of Molina Fine Jewelers.  Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will make brief congratulatory remarks.

Molina also has donated a stunning pair of 18-karat white gold earrings with .39 carats of brilliant diamonds surrounding black onyx for a raffle.  The earrings are valued at $4,990.  Raffle tickets are $25 each or 6 for $100 and can be purchased at the event or online at www.awee.org.

Individual tickets for the Faces of Success Luncheon are $100 each and also can be purchased online or the day of the event.  Sponsorships are still available.

The highlight of the annual luncheon comes midway through the program when the three Faces of Success take the audience through their personal journeys from rock bottom to steady employment and self sufficiency thanks to AWEE programs, services and support.

The 2012 Faces of Success are:

• Craig Leighton, a U.S. Marine Corp photographer whose life fell apart after returning from Vietnam in 1974 deaf and angry.  Leighton eventually found himself battling alcohol and drug addiction, homeless and in jail.  “I needed help,” he said.  “Coming out of prison, you have a choice:  Go back to your old behavior or start over.  AWEE is what saved my life.”

• Vicki Rainey, the mother of two children who grew up in Phoenix living a “wonderful childhood” until the family moved to a new neighborhood.  That’s when she started making a series of bad choices with alcohol, drugs and criminal behavior and wound up homeless and in and out of prison.  Prison let her come out of the meth-induced fog she had lived in for months when she chose the drug over her kids.  She learned about AWEE in prison workshops and classes, rebuilt her self-esteem and her life and is now the marketing manager at Recovery Opportunity Center.  “The simple fact is, I wouldn’t be where I am today without AWEE.”

• Tanya Smith moved to Phoenix from Baltimore after her mother died.  Smith wanted warmth and sunshine.  Unfortunately, she couldn’t find permanent work and ran out of money between assignments through a temporary agency, needing help from family members.  Surgery complicated matters.   After getting on AHCCCS, she was referred to AWEE where resume writing and interview training keyed her turnaround.  Today, she’s working fulltime in the Home Modification Division of the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

Jeanne Lind Herberger honoree Robson combines a successful track record as a businesswoman and entrepreneur with nearly two decades of civic and community leadership to lead one of the fastest-growing social health companies on the Web.  She started EmpowHER following her own personal struggle with a debilitating health issue and the challenges she experienced in finding the health resources she needed.  “I thought ‘If this happened to me, what is happening to women all over the world?’  At that moment, I decided I would dedicate my life to making sure no other woman would suffer as I had by creating the resources I wish I had when I was sick.”

Kathey Wagner, CEO, B-On The Obvious and Nicole Spracale, Senior Vice President, Jobing, are co-chairs of the 2012 Faces of Success Luncheon.  Bank of America is the Presenting Sponsor with additional support from: The Herberger Foundation, Bruce T. Halle Familiy Foundation, APS, B-On The Obvious, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Discover Financial Services, Jobing, EmpowHER.com, First Solar, Molina Fine Jewelers, SRP, State Farm, Lewis & Roca, MidFirst Bank, Wells Fargo, Avnet, Comerica Bank and University of Phoenix.

For sponsorship information, contact Chief Development Officer Jamie Craig Dove at jamiecraigdove@awee.org or by calling (602) 223-4333.  For ticket information, visit www.awee.org.

electricity

SRP, APS Sending Crews to New York

Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service are sending a combined 21 line crews and support staff to New York to assist the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) in restoring power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

SRP is sending 62 employees (including 11 four-person line crews and 12 substation electricians) equipped with line trucks, hole diggers and wire pulling equipment. APS, meanwhile, will send 36 employees (including 10 three-person line crews) equipped with bucket trucks and boom trucks. The two organizations’ contingent also includes crew support and safety personnel.

The trucks – and a limited number of personnel from the two utilities – are scheduled to depart Friday sometime after 6 a.m. via military air transport from the Arizona Air National Guard, located at 3200 E. Old Tower Road Phoenix, AZ 85034. The remaining SRP and APS employees are scheduled to depart from Williams Gateway Airport in Mesa at approximately noon Friday.

Millions of East Coast residents have been without power since the storm hit on Monday.  LIPA alone reported more than 1 million customers without power at the height of the storm.  Many customers are expected to be without electricity for as long as 10 days and perhaps longer.

“Utilities in the United States have a long history of working together when needed,” said Vince Featherly, SRP’s senior director of Distribution Design, Construction & Maintenance.  “We realize how difficult the situation is there for the utilities and their customers, and we’re happy to help in any way we can.”

“A safe, reliable supply of electricity is vital to any community, and we are prepared to help Long Island customers get back to their regular lifestyle,” said Daniel Froetscher, APS Vice President of Energy Delivery. “Our thoughts are with those whose lives have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.”

It is anticipated that crews will stay in the area for as long as two weeks, the two utilities said.

SRP is the largest provider of power to the greater Phoenix area, serving more than 950,000 electric customers.

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

APS - Lightbulbs

New APS Arizona Sun Project Underway

Arizona Public Service (APS) and McCarthy Building Cos. have started the permitting process for a new solar photovoltaic facility – the Hyder II Solar Power Plant – located in Hyder.

APS selected McCarthy to engineer, procure the materials and construct the 14-megawatt (MW) facility.

“Hyder II is the sixth AZ Sun Project for APS,” said Barbara Lockwood, APS General Manager of Energy Innovation. “Through the AZ Sun Program, we are adding 200 MW of solar photovoltaic power plants across the state by 2015. We expect that these plants will generate clean energy for at least the next 30 years.”

The AZ Sun Program was approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission and enables APS to invest in the development of up to 200 MW of solar photovoltaic plants across Arizona. APS will finance and own the projects, which are being designed and constructed by third-party solar developers, contractors and equipment providers.

“Hyder II will be the third solar project we have worked on for APS, and we couldn’t be more pleased to work with them again,” said Dennis Tucker, Executive Vice President of McCarthy Building Cos. “Our system engineering and construction expertise will help APS harness the power of the sun and turn it into clean, renewable energy. Plus, the project will bring 150 local jobs to Arizona.”

Construction on Hyder II is expected to begin in April. Located on 240 acres, the project will include more than 71,000 single-axis tracker PV panels that will generate enough solar energy to power more than 3,500 Arizona homes. The single-axis tracker design enables the solar panels to follow the sun across the sky. Commercial operation is expected to take place in late 2013.

The five-year AZ Sun program will create more than 2,000 Arizona construction jobs. With Hyder II, the program has 68 MW under development (Hyder II, 19 MW in Chino Valley, and 35 MW in Yuma). The program already has placed 50 MW online, two 17-MW plants in Gila Bend and a 16-MW plant in Hyder. Hyder II will sit adjacent to the existing Hyder plant.

Earlier this summer, APS issued a request for proposal for an additional 32 MW to be located in Gila Bend.

solar

APS takes proposals for solar facility

Arizona’s largest utility company is taking proposals from solar developers and installers for a 32-megawatt facility in Gila Bend.

Arizona Public Service Co. says it will accept bids starting Aug. 22 and is encouraging developers to participate in an upcoming webinar.

The company has been investing in the development of 200 megawatts of solar photovoltaic plants statewide. The goal is to have eight solar facilities operating by the end of 2015 under the AZ Sun Program, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs.

The 32-megawatt facility in Gila Bend will provide enough electricity to power 8,000 Arizona homes.

summer energy demand

APS Prepared To Meet Summer Energy Demand

As summer energy demand increases, APS reminds its customers it is well positioned to meet their energy needs over the next three months.

This message is the key theme of a three-minute APS-produced video that can be viewed on YouTube: youtube.com/arizonapublicservice. The video features interviews with company officials about this summer’s peak demand forecast, the resources available to serve that demand, a summary of APS’s system improvements, and the steps the company takes to prepare for wildfires and other emergencies.

“One of our most important jobs each year is to make sure the APS system is ready when the summer heat arrives,” said Daniel Froetscher, APS Vice President of Energy Delivery. “We invest in the electricity grid, secure an ample supply of power for even the hottest days, and prepare in advance for storms, wildfires and other events that can cause power outages. When outages do occur, our top priority is to get the lights back on quickly and safely, while communicating regularly with our customers about our efforts to restore the power.”

In preparation for meeting the needs of its customers this summer, APS in 2011 invested about $250 million in system improvements. This included more than 40 miles of new and rebuilt power lines and the construction of seven new substations throughout the company’s service territory.

This summer, APS anticipates a peak of 7,067 megawatts (MW), compared with the 2011 summer peak of 7,087 MW, which occurred on Aug. 24, during the hottest monsoon season ever recorded in the Valley. Between its existing generation, and long- and short-term contracts, APS has 8,696 MW of resources available to help meet summer demand.

The all-time APS system peak of 7,236 MW was set on July 21, 2006. (The summer peak – the 15-minute period when APS customers require the most energy – typically occurs in July or August between 5 and 6 p.m.)

APS successfully met peak demand in 2011 while providing its 1.1 million customers with record high levels of reliability. For the year, the typical APS customer experienced 0.79 power outages compared to a national industry median of 1.12 interruptions. Meanwhile, the typical APS customer experienced 69 minutes of interrupted service in 2011, compared with an industry median of 114 minutes. Both marks are APS records and fall within or near the top quartile of the industry.

In the event of large-scale customer outages, the company utilizes its Twitter outage feed, @APSOutageCenter, to provide real-time updates to its customers and other key audiences.

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW)

For more information on APS’s ability to meet the summer energy demand, visit APS’s website at aps.com.

aps - recognized business partners

APS Recognizes Outstanding Business Partners

Providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity to 1.1 million customers across more than 34,000 square miles takes considerable resources. APS cannot do it alone. It requires business partners who can supply equipment, deliver and produce materials and share expertise across a variety of industries.

In 2011, APS spent $1.7 billion with more than 7,000 different business partners. Today, APS is recognizing six suppliers for going above and beyond what is expected as a business partner. Their actions were instrumental in helping APS meet the energy needs of customers.

APS’s 2012 Suppliers of the Year are Rohrer Corporation; Southwest Ground Control LLC; URS Corporation; Levi, Ray and Shoup Inc.; Konecranes Nuclear Equipment & Services LLC and General Cable.

“Through their actions, these companies have demonstrated a dedication to customer service and a commitment to providing additional value to their relationship with APS,” said Barbara Gomez, APS Vice President of Supply Chain Management. “We would like to see our other business partners emulate the actions taken by our six award winners. Our customers directly benefit from the great relationships we have with these suppliers and the value they provide.”

Companies were nominated for the award by APS employees. Along with providing outstanding customer service, nominees were evaluated on their support of APS’s values including showing a commitment to sustainability; being actively involved in the community; and focusing on health, safety and environmental concerns.

One company was selected for each of the supply chain categories: Corporate Services, Energy Delivery and Facilities Services, Generation Services, Information Technology, Major Equipment and Materials.

Rohrer Corporation (Corporate Services) is a print, marketing and communications technology company. When APS’s annual customer account summary mailing – an important tool to help customers manage their monthly energy bills – fell behind schedule, Rohrer stepped up. They added extra work hours, including weekends, to help APS get all 800,000 summaries printed accurately and mailed on time.

Southwest Ground Control LLC (Energy Delivery and Facility Services), a vegetation management company, helps APS reduce the risk of forest fires in Arizona by removing vegetation around power lines and poles and in substations. Several tribal governments made a special effort to contact APS to praise Southwest Ground Control for its safe, professional and respectful approach to working on sensitive tribal lands.

URS Corporation (Generation Services) is an engineering and construction company. URS’s efforts at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the Four Corners Power Plant and the Cholla Power Plant exhibited many of the values APS seeks in a business partner. For example, despite putting in 32,000 man-hours and meeting challenging deadlines, URS completed the design and engineering work on several water impoundments at Palo Verde without injury or damage to any individual or property.

Levi, Ray and Shoup Inc. (Information Technology) is an information technology solutions provider. The company helped APS achieve significant cost savings by passing on favorable pricing for software and hardware. While doing so, they were able to lessen the time it takes to prepare for the purchase, reducing it from 60 days to less than 14 days.

Konecranes Nuclear Equipment & Services LLC (Major Equipment) designs, installs and services a full range of nuclear lifting equipment. The company used timely and innovative solutions to design, engineer, purchase materials and safely replace a polar crane trolley at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. The work was done on schedule and on budget despite short notice and a small time window to complete the job.

General Cable (Materials) is a manufacturer and distributor of wire cable. APS continued to build and repair critical infrastructure in a timely manner in part because General Cable not only maintained appropriate inventory levels of contracted products throughout the year, but was also able to provide additional non-contracted materials when other manufacturers could not meet supply needs.

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

For more information on APS, visit APS’ website at aps.com.

energy innovation aps

APS Recognized For Energy Innovation

Arizona Public Service Company ( APS ) has been recognized as one of the top 10 electric utilities in North America for energy innovation according to GreenTech Media and GTM Research, a leading source for clean energy news, analysis and trade events.

The award – titled “The Networked Grid: Top Ten Utility Smart Grid Deployments in North America” – was based on nominations from utilities and vendors and judged by GTM Research analysts.

“Technology is changing everything, including the electricity grid. Our challenge is to make sure APS is investing in technologies that provide value for our customers, make financial sense and are here for the long run. This award is an indication that we are on the right track,” said APS Director of Energy Innovation Barbara Lockwood.

Among its energy innovation projects, APS recently announced the testing of an energy storage system in Flagstaff, Arizona. The system is the size of a shipping container and can generate the equivalent power output of 1,200 hybrid cars. APS is testing several uses in an electrical distribution substation, where it may one day help to dispatch power temporarily during outages. Eventually, the system will support a solar power plant and help to get more renewable energy generation onto the grid.

Flagstaff is home to a number of APS energy innovation pilots including the Community Power Project, which is testing the effects of a high concentration of solar energy in a single distribution area. The study will enable APS to optimize the grid for a future where large percentages of customers in a neighborhood could have solar panels.

APS also is engaged in a self-healing/self-isolating grid pilot and a distribution fault anticipation pilot in Flagstaff. The latter two technologies help predict and manage system faults, resulting in reduced power outages and quicker repair times.

Later this year, a home energy information pilot will test customer benefits of in-home energy displays, programmable thermostats and residential demand response programs.

Earlier this year, APS energy innovation programs were ranked fourth nationally by Intelligent Utility magazine and IDC Energy Insights.

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

For more information on APS and their project in Flagstaff, visit APS’ website at aps.com.

solar

APS Ranked As One Of Nation’s Top Solar Companies

Arizona Public Service Company’s efforts to increase the adoption of renewable energy like solar continue to earn national recognition. APS was ranked third in the Annual Megawatts category and fourth in the Annual Watts Per Customer Category – both rankings the highest ever for the company – in the 2011 Utility Solar Rankings announced on April 17 by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA).

With approximately 145 megawatts of solar energy added to its system in 2011, APS beat out more than 240 other utilities for the third place ranking.

“Last year was a banner year for renewable energy development at APS, we saw more customers install solar than in any prior year, and we brought 45 megawatts of APS-owned solar online through our AZ Sun Program,” said Pat Dinkel, APS Vice President of Power Marketing, Resource Planning and Acquisition. “Renewable energy is good for our customers because it allows APS to invest in building a long-term diverse portfolio that takes into account affordability, dependability and sustainability.”

APS’s current renewable portfolio contains more than 900 megawatts of renewable energy, including projects online or under development. When these resources are placed into service, they will provide enough clean, renewable electricity to power 225,000 Arizona homes.

“We congratulate APS for being a solar power leader in the electric utility sector,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA President and Chief Executive Officer. “APS successfully adapted its business models and operations to allow for a significant amount of solar energy to be integrated into the grid last year, delivering the many benefits of clean solar energy to its customers. The impressive gains solar energy made in the U.S. in 2011 can be largely attributed to APS’s leadership.”

The Top 10 solar utilities in the category of Annual Megawatts are:

1. Pacific Gas and Electric (CA)

2. Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (NJ)

3. Arizona Public Service (AZ)

4. Southern California Edison (CA)

5. Atlantic City Electric (NJ)

6. Jersey Central Power & Light (NJ)

7. Sacramento Municipal Utility District (CA)

8. Xcel Energy – CO (CO)

9. Long Island Power Authority (NY)

10. Xcel Energy – NM (NM)

Altogether, the Top 10 utilities reported adding more than 1,000 megawatts of solar electricity capacity in 2011. Overall, more than 240 utilities surveyed reported nearly 1,500 megawatts of new solar, equivalent to about six natural gas power plants.

The full Top 10 report containing additional details about the total solar capacity of U.S. utilities, rankings by regions, geographical diversity and other utility solar trends will be available in late May at SEPATop10.org.

SEPA is an educational non-profit dedicated to helping utilities integrate solar power into their energy portfolios. With more than 1,000 utility and solar industry members, SEPA provides unbiased utility solar market intelligence, up-to-date information about technologies and business models, and peer-to-peer interaction. From hosting national events to one-on-one counseling, SEPA helps utilities make smart solar decisions.

APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

For more information on APS, visit APS’ website at aps.com.

aps

APS Prepared To Meet Summer Demand

APS is well positioned to meet the energy needs of its customers this summer, company officials told the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) today.

This message was part of APS’s annual summer preparedness briefing to the ACC.  The presentation included this summer’s peak demand forecast, an inventory of available resources to serve that demand, a summary of APS’s system improvements, and the steps the company has taken to prepare for wildfires and other emergencies.

“One of our most important jobs each year is to make sure the APS system is ready when the summer heat arrives,” said Daniel Froetscher, APS Vice President of Energy Delivery. “We invest in the electricity grid, secure an ample supply of power for even the hottest days, and prepare in advance for storms, wildfires and other events that can cause power outages. When outages do occur, our top priority is to get the lights back on quickly and safely, while communicating regularly with our customers about our efforts to restore the power.”

In preparation for meeting the needs of its customers this summer, APS in 2011 invested about $250 million in system improvements. This included more than 40 miles of new and rebuilt power lines and the construction of seven new substations throughout the company’s service territory.

This summer, APS anticipates a peak of 7,067 megawatts (MW), compared with the 2011 summer peak of 7,087 MW, which occurred on Aug. 24, during the hottest monsoon season ever recorded in the Valley. Between its existing generation, and long- and short-term contracts, APS has 8,696 MW of resources available to help meet summer demand.

The all-time APS system peak of 7,236 MW was set on July 21, 2006. (The summer peak – the 15-minute period when APS customers require the most energy – typically occurs in July or August between 5 and 6 p.m.)

APS successfully met peak demand in 2011 while providing its 1.1 million customers with record high levels of reliability. For the year, the typical APS customer experienced 0.79 power outages compared to a national industry median of 1.12 interruptions. Meanwhile, the typical APS customer experienced 69 minutes of interrupted service in 2011, compared with an industry median of 114 minutes. Both marks are APS records and fall within or near the top quartile of the industry.

In the event of large-scale customer outages, the company utilizes its Twitter outage feed, @APSOutageCenter, to provide real-time updates to its customers and other key audiences.

The state’s other major electric utilities also made presentations to the ACC.

For more information on APS, visit APS’ website at aps.com.

state land department

State Land Department, APS Partner On First Solar Facility To Be Built On State Land

Arizona’s State Land Department and Arizona Public Service are working in coordination to build the first-ever solar project on Arizona State Trust lands. Nearly 400 acres in Yuma County will soon be home to the 35-megawatt APS Foothills Solar Plant. The cost to APS for a 35-year lease on the land is $10 million, which will go primarily to help fund Arizona public education.“It is a commitment we share with Governor Brewer, the Arizona Corporation Commission and other key decision makers in Arizona. Together, we have taken another important step toward creating a sustainable energy future for Arizona.”

The unprecedented decision to build this project on State land supports Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer’s goals to facilitate and encourage renewable energy and economic development in Arizona.

“This collaboration furthers our ongoing efforts to establish Arizona as a global leader in renewable energy,” said Governor Brewer. “The project will bring quality solar jobs to Arizona and dollars to support our state’s public schools – all while utilizing Arizona’s most abundant resource, the sun, to generate clean and renewable energy. It’s the first of many solar projects that will benefit the entire state and cement our status as the ‘Solar King.’ ”

For the past eight months, the State Land Department has done extensive work to identify State Trust land sites suitable for solar development. With these locations in mind, State Land Department Commissioner Maria Baier approached APS about building a solar plant on State Trust land. This led to an independent assessment by APS to determine the most suitable development location for its next solar plant – which yielded the Yuma Foothills project site. The fit was ideal for Arizona and for the company.

The result is APS’s fifth, and largest, AZ Sun project to date. The Foothills Solar Plant will have a capacity of 35 megawatts, or enough to power 8,750 Arizona homes. All the electricity produced from this facility will be used to serve local Yuma residents.

“Through our growing investment in solar energy, we are helping the environment, creating jobs and protecting our customers against potentially volatile fuel prices,” said Don Brandt, APS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “It is a commitment we share with Governor Brewer, the Arizona Corporation Commission and other key decision makers in Arizona. Together, we have taken another important step toward creating a sustainable energy future for Arizona.”

Foothills will create more than 100 construction jobs and will break ground in August 2012. The plant is expected to come online in two phases – the first 17 MW will reach commercial operation by March 2013; the remaining 18 MW will reach commercial operation by December 2013. APS has hired Atlanta, Ga.-based AMEC to construct the facility.

The AZ Sun Program was approved by the ACC and enables APS to invest in the development of up to 200 megawatts of solar photovoltaic power plants across Arizona. APS will finance and own the projects, which are being designed and constructed by third-party solar developers, contractors and equipment providers. AZ Sun is good for APS customers because they benefit from the savings of renewable tax credits and utility-operated power plants for the entire useful life of the facilities.

The proceeds from land sales and leases of State Trust lands go to the beneficiaries of the State Land Trust, primarily Arizona Common Schools, supporting grades K-12. The Arizona State Land Department manages 9.3 million acres of Arizona State Trust Land. For more information about the Arizona State Land Department visit www.land.state.az.us or call (602) 542-4621.

Pinnacle West reports

Pinnacle West Reports Positive 2011 Fourth-quarter & Full-year Results

 ’Disciplined cost management’ and strong operational performance benefit bottom line

Pinnacle West Capital Corporation reported consolidated on-going earnings of $12.1 million, or $0.11 per diluted share of common stock, for the quarter ended December 31, 2011. This result compares with on-going earnings of $5.2 million, or $0.05 per share, in the same 2010 period. The Company’s net income attributable to common shareholders for the 2011 fourth quarter was $12.6 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, compared with net income of $7.4 million, or $0.07 per share, for the same quarter a year ago.

For full-year 2011, Pinnacle West reported consolidated on-going earnings of $328.1 million, or $2.99 per share, as compared to $324.7 million, or $3.03 per share, a year ago. Consolidated net income attributable to common shareholders for 2011 was $339.5 million, or $3.09 per diluted share, compared with 2010 net income of $350.1 million, or $3.27 per diluted share.

On-going earnings exclude results of discontinued operations primarily related to the Company’s real estate activities and former energy services business. A reconciliation of reported earnings to on-going earnings is provided at the end of this release.

“Disciplined cost management, concentration on our core electricity business and superior operational performance by our dedicated employees – particularly in the areas of customer service, reliability and safety – produced sound financial results,” said Pinnacle West Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Don Brandt.

Brandt added that the Company’s 2011 results exceeded its earnings guidance. The Company had projected that on-going earnings would be near the top of its guidance range of $2.75 to $2.90 per share. The actual results were due, in part, to lower than expected operating and maintenance costs, and cooler than normal weather that increased retail sales in the fourth quarter by a similar amount as the year-ago period.

“We achieved a significant milestone with the proposed settlement of APS’s pending retail rate case,” said Brandt. “The agreement has broad support and contains provisions important to customers, shareholders and other stakeholders.” The settlement is pending approval by the Arizona Corporation Commission. APS and the other parties have requested the agreement take effect July 1, 2012.

Brandt cited additional examples of the Company’s recent achievements:

  • In 2011, APS continued its top-tier customer satisfaction rating, maintained superior power plant performance, and provided its 1.1 million customers with record levels of service reliability.
  • Standard & Poor’s Corporation (S&P) raised credit ratings in June for Pinnacle West and APS to BBB, up from BBB-, thus reducing borrowing costs and improving access to debt markets. S&P cited the companies’ stronger credit metrics, reduction in debt, improving regulatory environment and prudent financial management as contributing factors.
  • APS also celebrated several renewable energy milestones as the AZ Sun Program (APS-owned solar energy) added 50 megawatts of new solar capacity, enough to serve more than 12,000 APS customers. With these plants, APS’s renewable energy portfolio now includes 423 megawatts with an additional 523 megawatts in development. New solar and wind plants to serve APS customers have created more than 2,400 design, engineering and construction jobs for Arizona.

The fourth-quarter on-going results comparison was positively impacted by the following major factors:

  • A decrease in operations and maintenance expenses improved earnings by $0.06 per share, due largely to lower power plant maintenance costs as a result of more work being completed earlier in the year than in 2010; and to lower employee benefit costs, partially offset by higher customer service and energy delivery expenses. The variance excludes costs associated with renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, which are offset by comparable amounts of operating revenues.
  • Higher transmission revenues improved earnings by $0.03 per share, primarily because of a retail transmission rate increase implemented in July 2011.

These positive factors were partially offset by the absence of tax benefits of $0.06 per share that were recorded in the 2010 fourth quarter, but were related to prior years.

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APS, the Company’s principal subsidiary, recorded 2011 fourth-quarter net income attributable to common shareholder of $14.3 million versus net income of $7.8 million for the comparable 2010 quarter. For 2011 as a whole, APS net income attributable to common shareholder was $336.2 million compared with $335.7 million for 2010.

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Palo Verde

Palo Verde Surpasses Production Record

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station achieved its 20th consecutive year as the nation’s largest power producer.

The almost 31.3 million megawatt-hours produced in 2011 is the most ever generated by Palo Verde or by any other U.S. power plant of any kind.

According to industry data, Unit 3 produced more electricity than any other reactor in the U.S. in 2011 and was the second most productive in the world. Despite a scheduled refueling outage in the spring of 2011, Unit 2 was third most productive reactor in the U.S. and ranked 10th in the world. Unit 1, which had a scheduled refueling outage in the fall of 2011, ranked 14th in the U.S. and 30th in the world. Palo Verde’s three reactors are part of 104 operating units in the U.S. and 435 in the world.

“Our investment in equipment upgrades and our employees’ efforts to continually improve safety and overall plant performance has resulted in many successes,” said Randy Edington, Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer for Arizona Public Service Co., the operator and largest owner of Palo Verde. “We are proud of our accomplishments in enhancing plant operation and will continue to strive to improve our record. We will stay on our course to achieve our mission to ‘safely and efficiently generate electricity for the long term.’ ”

From 2002 to 2010, Palo Verde installed new steam generators, high-efficiency turbine rotors, new reactor vessel heads and rapid refueling machines in all three units. These large investments resulted in increased output by about 200 megawatts and reduced down time for refueling and maintenance.

Other 2011 accomplishments include:

  • After a two-year in-depth technical audit, inspection and scrutiny of the plant’s operation, equipment and safety performance, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved extending the operating licenses for all three Palo Verde units an additional 20 years beyond the original 40-year licenses, allowing Unit 1 to operate through 2045, Unit 2 through 2046 and Unit 3 through 2047.
  • Palo Verde set a record for lowest outage radiation exposure in the nuclear industry. Palo Verde’s Unit 1 refueling outage completed in November recorded the lowest ever 20.6 rem. Prior to 2011, the best refueling outage recorded for a U.S. commercial plant was 28.2 rem in 2006. The record low exposure included 106,424 man-hours accumulated by more than a thousand nuclear professionals who worked in the tightly controlled areas of the plant where radiological exposure is possible. Current industry median for station-best is 59 rem. Rem is an abbreviation for roentgen equivalent man, a measurement of ionizing radiation. One rem is equivalent to receiving one upper gastrointestinal (GI) computerized tomography (CT) scan.
  • Palo Verde opened a new Energy Education Center in Buckeye. The new building includes state-of-the-art equipment needed to respond to an emergency and provide the public with the most complete, timely and accurate information. It also will be used for other business purposes including employee training, industry conferences, offsite meetings and community outreach activities. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the facility its second-highest rating under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, known as LEED.

 

Palo Verde is the largest nuclear power plant in the nation. Its three units can generate more than 4 million kilowatts of safe, clean, reliable, low-cost electricity every hour – enough to serve about 4 million people.

Palo Verde is operated by APS and jointly owned by APS, Salt River Project, Southern California Edison Co., El Paso Electric Co., Public Service Co. of New Mexico, Southern California Public Power Authority and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

Solar tariff

Debate Over Renewable Energy Tariff For Rebate Customers

Solar rebate customers may be faced with a higher renewable energy tariff that will supplement the solar rebate fund to help other customers install solar equipment.

Previous articles in the Green Scene section focused on the many available rebates for purchasing solar equipment for a home or business. These articles also focus on the savings that can be accrued after switching to a greener energy source. This post is a summation of the Dec. 20 Arizona Republic article and a personal commentary on the decisions to be made concerning a renewable energy tariff for rebate using customers.

The Renewable Energy Tariff

Before you switched to solar (or if you haven’t yet), you are charged with a renewable energy tariff. The tariff price is based on how much energy you use, so if you have installed solar energy equipment, you buy less energy from your utility company. Therefore, you reduce your monthly tariff. The APS renewable energy tariff is capped at $4 a month for residential customers that have not transitioned to solar energy. If you have a solar system on your home, you pay approximately half that, or less.

Arizona Corporation Commissioner, Brenda Burns, thinks it’s fair to charge those who used solar energy rebates a few extra dollars each month so that those who haven’t taken advantage of the solar rebates can have that same opportunity.

The reasoning behind this idea is that more people are going solar and fewer people are left paying the renewable energy tariff. So the Arizona Corporation Commission wants to ensure that there will be money in a fund to continue allocating rebates to customers that want to go solar.

It becomes an issue of fairness when people who are renting or those of lower income are paying the renewable energy tariff to its extent and supporting higher-income homeowners, living in affluent neighborhoods who want to use rebates to install solar in their homes, Burns says in the article. Burns also says that the implementation of the tariff will not be retroactive to those who have used rebates to install solar equipment in their homes, only those who utilize the rebates in the future.

I’m sure this has a lot of people asking, “Why should this come out of my pocket?”

Renewable Energy Tariff’s Effect On Solar Policy

Critics of this idea include solar companies and say that this is an attack on the industry. Arizona Corporation Commissioner, Paul Newman, wonders from where this idea stemmed in the first place and feels that it is a punishment for customers who were the first to make that transition to solar energy.

Different levels of rebates are available, but let’s say a customer utilizes a $4,000 rebate to install a solar system in their home. That person is already spending thousands of dollars to put this system on their roof; the rebate was a welcome relief and an incentive.

The political alignment with the move to go solar was constructed to make it easier to make the change, and by monetarily inviting homeowners to do so persuaded them. Now the policy with solar is still there, but it isn’t as motivating to homeowners.

I’m all for a greener future, and I love the idea of getting our power from the sun, but to entice homeowners with rebates and then make them pack back the rebates is comparable to false advertising.

In my mind, a rebate is a discount on a product that you don’t have to pay back. So, calling these solar rebates isn’t necessarily true. It’s like a loan that you borrow, but you pay it back interest free. And the next question is, how long? How long do clean-energy users continue paying the full rate of the renewable energy tax? Until they have paid back the amount of the rebate they used? Double the amount of the rebate they used?

Should solar rebate customers pay the renewable energy tariff so more customers can take advantage of solar energy? Should the idea of the rebate be eradicated completely and allow individuals to purchase their own solar equipment? Should the money just run out, with the utility companies instituted an early bird gets the worm policy when it concerns the solar rebates?

We’d like to know what you think, let us know in the comments.

 

Sustainability Discussions at the GoGreen Conference

GoGreen Conference ’11 Sustainability Panel Discussions (Part II)

In the first part of the GoGreen Conference ’11 coverage, we reported that sustainability education and patience were the buzzwords of many of the panel discussions. Here’s why:

The panel discussion titled “Green Your Workplace: High Impact Change at Your Business,” moderated by Ed Fox, chief sustainability officer for APS, focused on how to turn the idea of going green and sustainability into governance. This challenge small and large businesses face was the topic of discussion among the panel, which included:

  • Bryan Dunn, senior vice president of Adolfson & Peterson Construction;
  • Jonce Walker, sustainability manager of Maricopa County;
  • Anthony Floyd, LEED AP, green building program manager of the City of Scottsdale;
  • and Leslie Lindo, president and co-founder of IKOLOJI.

Fox began the discussion asking the panelists how one would convince the leaders of companies to pursue incorporating green elements into the workplace.

Floyd suggested offering incentives and marketing materials and free literature to spur interest. Lindo agreed providing incentives to employees will help encourage them to make the changes second nature. She also suggested owners become educated themselves and have a strong advocate in the office.

Walker took a different approach and said reducing consumption to afford sustainability is one step a business can consider taking. The company must be efficient and through this efficiency, it will convince others that the extra cost will be worth it.

Walker continued to say that it helps to know all the benefits of turning your particular business green — environmental, economical, etc. — and know your audience.

“Ninety percent of clients are bottom-line driven,” Dunn said. They want to save energy and save money, he added. Two ways companies can do this is by making their own operations more efficient (switching your lighting to LED, for example) while also anticipating changes in the marketplace.

Dunn also said behavioral modifications must take place. You can switch to LED, but the appropriate actions must be taken by the staff, i.e. remembering to turn off the lights.

But what was stressed was the acceptance of risk. While making your business more environmentally friendly and sustainable will help you save money in the long run, it will take some time to get there with few obvious returns. Or, as Fox put it, the few “low hanging fruit.”

In the following discussion, “Applying Sustainabilty Best Practices to Impact Community Equity and Diversity,” moderated by Dr. George Brooks, owner of Southwest Green and NxT Horizon Group and including Greg Peterson, founder of Urban Farm; Diane Brossart, president of Valley Forward; and Rosanne Albright, Brownfields Project Manager of the City of Phoenix, regenerative sustainability was the hot topic as well as education.

“Nature regenerates itself, not just sustains itself,” Peterson said. “Education is the key piece to sustainability.

Urban farming (or growing and sharing food), recycling land via the Brownfields Land Recycling Project, and the importance of parks and open space in the state were all covered in this discussion.

“Energy, food, health, poverty — they are all connected,” Brooks said. “Local sourcing and urban farms can help offset the costs of energy.”

Peterson’s final thoughts?

“It’s really a grassroots movement,” he said. “For those of you in the government, get out of our way.”

Visit the GoGreen Conference website at gogreenconference.net.

 

GoGreen Conference '11

GoGreen Conference ’11 Emphasizes Sustainability Education, Patience

Whether it’s educating attendees of green and sustainability in the workplace or the speakers’ efforts to educate public and private entities of sustainability in their community, “education” was the buzzword and couldn’t have been stressed enough at the GoGreen Conference ’11 this past Tuesday, November 15. Well, that and a lot of patience.

“It’s not just about being and going green,” said Ed Fox, chief sustainability officer for APS.” It’s about educating and sustaining it.”

Dr. George Brooks, owner of Southwest Green and NxT Horizon Group, agreed: “There’s more to sustainability than solar panels,” he said. “If you want to make sustainability and its process sustainable, you need to make it useful.”

More than 50 speakers from all over the state were in attendance for the first GoGreen Conference ’11 held at the Phoenix Convention Center. Furniture IKEA donated to the panel discussions will be donated to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

This all-day conference held back-to-back panel sessions with leaders of sustainable business, who educated attendees on the latest sustainable practices for their respective businesses.

City of Phoenix Major Phil Gordon announced that this was possibly his last opportunity to speak as an elected official about his and the city’s green efforts. He said that although mayor elect Greg Stanton was unable to attend the GoGreen Conference, Stanton is committed to “help build Phoenix as the greenest city.”

Gordon also shared Phoenix-area, sustainability-related statistics and accomplishments over the years, including:

  • Phoenix is home to the only solar light rail stop (near the U.S. Airways Center) in the nation, “maybe in the world.”
  • The city has raised more than $1M in incentives to businesses and homeowners for their sustainability efforts.
  • Through Solar Phoenix, the Valley has more than 425 solar-installed homes. These homeowners have saved 10 percent on utility bills, on average.
  • By 2025, 15 percent of the city will be powered by fossil fuels. And also by 2025, 25 percent of the city will be shaded throughout with canopies and palm trees.

Maria Baier, commissioner of the Arizona State Land Department, provided opening remarks, emphasizing the importance of supporting universities and higher education seeking research dollars for its sustainability efforts. She continues to speak about how to not only go green, but also stay green.

“In order to go green and stay green, we need to keep our product legitimate,” Baier said. “We need to continue to defend it and improve reliability and dependability.”

Rounding out the first session of the conference was Al Halvorsen, senior director of environmental sustainability of Frito-Lay North America.

Halvorsen spoke about Frito-Lay and PepsiCo’s environmental sustain/ability journey — how they were able to confront their challenges (reducing its environmental impact), become an “embracer” of sustainability instead of a “cautious adapter,” and view sustainability as a competitive advantage — incorporating it into PepsiCo’s business with the following strategies:

  • Move Early: Over time, your business will evolve.
  • Balance Short/Long Term: Achieve near-term wins with long-term vision. Your business needs a foundation to help push longer-term envelopes.
  • Focus Top Down and Bottom Up: Track and monitor usage every day.
  • Measure Everything: By 2020, Frito-Lay predicts it will cut its diesel fuel usage in half.
  • Value Intangible Benefits
  • Be Authentic and Transparent: Share your business’s wins, losses and challenges.

“Sustainability for us is a journey and by no means are we there,” Halvorsen said. Jonce Walker, sustainability manager for Maricopa County agreed: “We are nowhere near done,” he said. “We still have so much left to do.”

Check back for part II of the GoGreen Conference ’11 coverage on AZNow.Biz.

For more information about the GoGreen Conference, visit www.gogreenconference.net.

 

APS Shade Tree Program

APS Shade Tree Program For Customers

Planting shade trees around your home can save you up to $50 per year on your energy bill, and with the APS Shade Tree program, “shaded walls can be 9° to 36° cooler at peak times,” according to its website.

“In addition to energy savings, shade trees also add value to your property, produce oxygen to help clean the air, capture rainwater, provide a wildlife habitat and reduce storm water runoff.”

The APS Shade Tree Program will supply free shade trees to APS customers who meet the requirements and attend a free shade tree workshop that will cover the planting and care of your shade trees.

The requirements for the APS Shade Tree program:

  • Must be a current APS residential customer living in Maricopa County
  • Must be able to plant the trees approximately 15 feet away from the western, eastern or southern side of your home
  • Must have the legal right to plant the trees on the property
  • Must have the ability to care for the tree as needed
  • Must attend an APS Shade Tree workshop

Each APS Shade Tree Program workshop is approximately an hour long and curriculum materials will be provided on how to plant and care for your shade tree. Once approved for your trees at the workshop, APS customers must wait to pick up their trees once they have matured.

Two trees will be provided to each APS customer who qualifies for the workshop. Unless the APS customer’s home was built prior to 1980, then the customer qualifies for three trees.

To register for an APS Shade Tree Program Workshop, visit aps.com/trees.

The workshops are running until the end of October. But if you miss out this year, more workshops are planned for 2012.  You can send an e-mail to trees@aps.com to receive notification when the next APS Shade Tree program will be held.

 

National Bank of Arizona, APS Energy Efficiency Partnership

APS Home Performance Program Provides Loans For Homeowners Energy Efficient Improvements

National Bank of Arizona has partnered with APS to provide an affordable financial incentive for APS customers to renovate their homes with energy efficient improvements. It’s called the APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.

The program was started more than a year ago and at the time was only available to schools and small businesses. But now, the partnership has  opened up so all APS residential customers have the ability to benefit not only the environment, but their wallet as well.

“We’re pleased to continue our partnership with a company like APS that views environmental sustainability as a top priority for our community,” says Craig Robb, executive vice president of National Bank of Arizona. “Our business energy financing program has been incredibly successful and, we’ve recognized the need to offer the same initiatives in the residential sector, as well.”

Photo: photos.com

The APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program allows homeowners to receive loan amounts ranging with a standard rate of financing, from $1,000-$15,000 for qualifying energy efficiency improvements. Loans that include improvements for solar water heaters are available up to $20,000. The energy efficient improvements included in the partnership program range from duct sealing and shade screens to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) replacements, solar water heaters and more.

To get started, customers need to schedule their $99 (regularly $400) APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Checkup with a participating contractor. Customers can locate a contractor by calling (877) 850-8358 or visiting www.aps.com.

Learn more about the APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program and financing details by visiting any one of National Bank of Arizona’s 76 branches statewide or calling (866) 277-5605 for more information. Customers can also log on to www.nbarizona.com or www.aps.com/financing.

Solar Energy Arizona Western College,

Solar Energy Builds on Arizona Western College Campus

The current economic situation has spurred a lot of talk, advertisements and encouragement to buy local and use local to sustain our economy. The Guinness Book of World Records named Yuma, AZ the sunniest city on earth, so where better to utilize innovative solar energy technology on Yuma’s Arizona Western College campus?

The Project

The Arizona Western College in Yuma is in the process of installing solar panels to cover close to 100 percent of its daytime electricity needs and cut its costs, all of which are planned to happen by October 2011. However, this project is doing more than just generating solar energy; it is utilizing five new types of photovoltaic technology from six different companies.

Arizona Western College plans to use the solar panels to teach classes on solar technology, installation and environmental engineering. This three-year solar project, from vision to completion, was partially funded by APS and will be managed by Main Street Power for 30 years and after the contract expires, the equipment will become part of the college and continue producing energy, says Lori Stofft, the director of public relations and marketing at Arizona Western College.

It is unique to apply five different technologies to a single institution, but that is one of the projects innovative angles.

The five photovoltaic technologies and the companies behind them include:

(c)2011 Arizona Western College by Ernest Yates

1. CPV (concentrator photovoltaic) from SolFocus, including their dual-axis trackers and GreenVolts fully integrated system including two-axis trackers and inverter
2. Thin Film panels from Sharp Solar
3. Monocrystalline panels from Solar World
4. Poly Crystalline panels from Suntech
5. Single-axis trackers from O Solar

Another unique aspect of this project is that the building process is streamed live over the internet to allow the community and the solar technology companies to check in on the progress.

“A lot of our partners are in Northern California, Germany, Spain… we wanted those people to feel like they were connected to our campus and that they could check in seven days a week and find out what was going on,” Stofft says. “It’s a way to include our partners in the building process.

The ground breaking was in May 2011 and the “Flip the Switch” completion ceremony is slated for October 2011. Only six months were allotted to cover 23 acres of land with solar arrays. The tight deadline was set in order to meet APS’s guidelines for the funding.

The Educational Advantage

It would make more sense to use one solar technology instead of five if it was just about energy generation, but it’s not, Stofft says. It’s about allowing the companies to measure their technologies against one another in one of the harshest climates on earth. Another educational aspect of the project will be the incubation area and the demonstration garden.

“The demonstration garden will have nine different technologies that students and the public will have access to,” Stofft  says. “They can see how [the technologies] measure against each other and what measures against the five major arrays.”

The incubation area is based on rental, and for a fee, technology companies can rent a private and secure area for a small array where they can test their equipment against the solar arrays already in place. The estimated savings for Arizona Western College with the solar array in place will be $3.5 million in the first 10 years, $15.4 million in 20 years and a projected $40 million over 30 years, including incubation rental fees.

“It’s more than just saving our tax payers money; it can be a road map for other colleges around the country who want to educate their own students,” Stofft  says. “There are all sorts of certificate and training programs and we could be educating people who work in solar industry at all levels.”

Arizona Western College graduated their first solar installer class of 19 in spring 2011 and are in the process of embedding solar technology into new and existing programs, developing 2-year degrees that can be transferred to four-year institutions.

(c)2011 Arizona Western College by Ernest Yates

It seems as though everyone wins.

Arizona Western College saves money; the solar companies get to test and monitor their technology in a large scale setting; the students reap the benefits, and the community creates jobs. The only thing left is getting a White House representative, or the president himself to the “Flip the Switch” ceremony.

A Presidential Approval

“The goal is to attract national attention to the array,” Stofft  says. “I really feel this is about energy independence for our country.”

Arizona Western College sent a formal invitation to the White house, but there has been no response yet. They are keeping their fingers crossed, and if the White House plans to respond, it still has time.

“The students, faculty and community are so proud that this solar array is being installed,” Stofft  says. “And if we can get the White House to visit, that will just be the cherry on top.”

For more information about Arizona Western College’s solar panels and its progress, visit www.azwestern.edu.

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Videos

Watch: AWC Solar Array Presidential Invite

Watch: AWC Solar Array Groundbreaking May 2011

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Solar Panels - AZRE Magazine July/August 2011

Solar Panels And Installations Make Good Financial Sense

Figuring out the bottom line return on investment figures for installing solar panels on commercial buildings is a bit like hitting a moving target. Incentives from utilities are apt to change and sow uncertainty in the market, thus access to capital can be iffy in these challenging economic times.

But some business owners who have installed systems in the past year agree: The right incentive package from Arizona Public Service or Salt River Project, combined with federal and state tax incentives, makes solar a good financial — as well as environmental — bet.

Here is a snapshot of two businesses that managed to put the right ingredients together.

Cowley Companies and APS

Cowley Companies, a Phoenix real estate investment firm, placed one of the largest commercial rooftop solar arrays in the country on one of its warehouses near 25th Avenue and Buckeye Road.

The project cost $11.5M and includes 7,872 panels, which generate about 2.4 megawatts of power. According to CEO Mike Cowley, the solar array is producing half of the electricity needed in the 850,000 SF building, which includes tenants with industrial refrigeration requirements. His annual bill had been running about $1M.

Cowley says he had to sign a non-disclosure agreement with APS and cannot reveal what the utility company is paying him per kilowatt hour, but the agreement obligates APS to pay incentives until 60% of the project costs — the amount he borrowed to finance the project — is paid off. The incentive payments cover the loan payments. Cowley estimates that will take about 12 years.

He’ll recoup 30% of the cost through a federal tax credit. Additionally, tenants now reimburse him for power used. With that mix of incentives and payments, he calculated his self-financed portion of the project, about 10%, will be paid off in about six years.

With a 25-year warranty on the panels, the decision to erect the array made good financial sense, Cowley says.

In 2009, APS established a reverse-auction system that requires commercial entities to bid for an incentive package. Spokesman Steven Gotfried says APS scores each application and awards the bid to those who produce the most electricity for the lowest incentives.

APS’ calculator takes into account the system size, the amount of energy it is expected to produce, the incentive requested and years of payment. The lower the score, the smaller the incentive per kilowatt hour requested. Incentives are then awarded starting with the lowest score. This continues until all the funds are allotted. It’s a competitive, market-driven process designed to lower incentives.

Lower incentives, Cowley says, would have made his deal less feasible.

“People are not going to get excited about a 20-year payback,” he says. Businesses may even “be waiting for SRP and APS to bring the rate back up to where solar makes sense again.”

Gotfried says APS is trying to find the right balance between offering too few and too many incentives, with a finite pool or resources.

“The goal at the end of the day is to drive down the cost of solar,” he says. “The incentives weren’t meant to go on forever, they were meant to get things started.”

The price of solar panels has dropped 50% in the past three years, says Lee Feliciano, president of the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association and a solar developer with CarbonFree Technology.

There may come a time, he says, when the industry no longer offers incentives for the panels, but that day is not yet on the horizon.

“The incentives are there to position the industry,” Feliciano says. “A lot of the biggest industries in the country would not be here without incentives.”

Even with incentive amounts dropping, installing solar panels on a commercial building can still be a good deal, says Gary Held, sales and marketing manager with Harmon Solar, which worked on the Av-Air project.

With incentive rates running around 10 cents to 12 cents per kilowatt hour, someone with access to capital can have a system paid off in about eight years. With a 20-year production-based incentive, that still makes financial sense, he says.

An owner who leases a system can see the end of lease payments in about 12 years and have eight years of incentives.

“We shout from the rooftops: If you are a commercial business owner with cash or access to capital with good credit, putting solar on your rooftop is a sound investment,” Held says.

Av-Air and SRP

“I am extremely satisfied with the way it is turning out for us,” says Bob Ellis, president of Reason’s Aviation, the parent company of Av-Air, a Chandler-based company that offers aftermarket parts and services to the airline industry.

Harmon Solar of Phoenix installed a 151,800-watt photovoltaic system made up of 550 solar panels on Av-Air’s rooftop, which is equivalent to about 20 residential-sized systems.

Ellis says the total cost of the project was $808,000. About 30% of the cost was covered by a federal grant and $25,000 will come back to him as a state tax credit, which is available to companies whose solar systems are operational this year.

The solar array covers 100% of his energy needs and SRP, he says, is paying him an incentive of 21.4 cents per kilowatt hour for 10 years, which comes out to $6,000 a month. Add that to the approximate $4,000 a month his tenants pay him for solar generated electricity and the fact that he’s no longer paying an electric bill, and the decision to go solar was “a no-brainer.” Ellis says it will take him about four years to pay back his $560,000 in up-front, out-of-pocket expenses.

The only downside to the process occurred when none of the four or five banks he does business with would lend him money for the out-of-pocket expenses, saying they were too unfamiliar with the incentive process.

Ellis also concedes it may be difficult for companies today to replicate Av-Air’s circumstances because SRP’s incentives are much less generous than they were in 2009.

“It was a really good deal and I got in on it just at the right time,” he says.

Both SRP and APS have production based incentive (PBI) programs for medium- and large-sized commercial customers. PBIs pay a customer over time based on the amount of energy produced, as opposed to the up-front incentives given to homeowners or small-business owners.

SRP now offers a PBI of 12 cents per kilowatt hour for 20 years for the first two megawatts of power applied for, but lowers the funding to 11 cents and then 10 cents respectively for each successive two megawatts. Its annual pool is for six megawatts.

Lori Singleton, SRP manager for sustainable initiatives and technology, says the utility simply has a finite set of resources and is trying not to over-subsidize an emerging industry.

“As the cost of solar decreases and demand increases, we have restructured our solar incentives to reflect that,” Singleton says. “It has been our intent from the beginning to reduce the rates as prices come down, so one day the industry can stand on its own without incentives.”

Reducing incentives also allows SRP to provide them to more customers, she says.

For more information about solar panels and incentive programs, visit srpnet.com or aps.com.

AZRE Magazine July/August 2011

All-Star Game 2010 Festivities, AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

82nd Annual MLB All-Star Game Arrives In Arizona Just In Time

82nd Annual MLB All-Star Game 

Arizona catches a much-needed break this summer when the 82nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game rolls into Chase Field in Downtown Phoenix in July.

“It’s a big year for the Diamondbacks,” says Derrick Hall, president of the Arizona Diamondbacks. “We have the opening of the new spring training complex, the All-Star Game, which we wanted for so many years, and the 10th anniversary of that World Series from 2001.”

FanFest 2010, AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011The Diamondbacks winning the 2001 World Series is significant for several reasons: it was an incredible moment in Arizona sports history, it benefited the local economy as media exposure put Metro Phoenix in the national spotlight and those who came pumped millions into the state’s coffers.

But since that memorable fall — the series went to a deciding seventh game at Bank One Ballpark, now called Chase Field — Arizona has been hit hard by the recession, with the summer months bearing most of the brunt.

The All-Star Game couldn’t have come at a better time. The festivities surrounding it — the Home Run Derby, Futures Game, Legends & Celebrity Softball Game and FanFest at the Phoenix Convention Center — will open the event to thousands of fans and inject nearly $67 million into Arizona’s economy.

This approximation includes money spent by All-Star Week visitors, including sponsors from MLB, on lodging, transportation, food and any other accumulated costs from visitors’ stays in the Valley and Downtown Phoenix.

Hall says with FanFest taking place downtown, All-Star Week will also create some jobs.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 visitors from all across the country will attend, with past All-Star Games filling
between 14,000 and 16,500 hotel rooms in host cities, which should boost hotel business in Downtown Phoenix.

Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011In addition to the throng of fans, sports-related programming and national outlets such as the MLB Network and ESPN’s Baseball Tonight will be broadcasting live from Phoenix, spotlighting the Valley with tremendous media exposure.

The 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis was covered by more than 2,000 broadcasters, writers and photographers and reached a television audience of more than 14.6 million viewers in 230 countries, according to Major League Baseball.

“To put this exposure in perspective, consider that corporate sponsors attached their names to various All-Star events in 2009 realized more than $38 million in media values,” says Scott Dunn, communications consultant for the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Now consider that Greater Phoenix’s brand will be implicitly connected to every All-Star event.”

Hall says he hopes this will prompt more tourism to the area in the future, as well.

“We’re going to have a lot of visitors coming for the first time, coming in from all over the country, just as they did for the World Series,” Hall says. “I want them to be blown away at the friendliness and knowledge of our staff, the beauty, comfort and safety of our building … we’re going to showcase some initiatives we have that no other teams do.”

Futures Game 2010, MLB, AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011The media exposure and the out-of-state visitors’ low expectations, especially regarding the temperatures, should have been two factors that made Hall sweat, but he and his staff are well prepared.

“According to feedback from MLB, we’ve been more organized and more proactive than any other team MLB has dealt with,” Hall says proudly. “We’re taking the initiative in each and every area.

“It’s their show, but they’ve accepted most of our recommendations; they’re really pleased with our efforts. Our results should be good if not better than any other All-Star Game.”

While Hall and his staff have their bases covered, it wasn’t an easy task bringing the All-Star Game to the Valley, especially during the summer months.

Improvements and additions to the stadium were made in order to eliminate any major concerns. In addition to renovations, including the upgrading of the video board, stadium lights and party suites specifically for the All-Star Game, a shade structure with solar paneling has been built at the entrance of the stadium in partnership with APS.

Also benefiting will be Valley charities. A number of groups recommended by Hall will receive proceeds associated with some of the events to the tune of $1.5 million to $2 million.

“I’m hoping the community supports this just as a point of pride,” Hall says. “This is something every team wants, but not every team gets. Let’s really take advantage of having the game here; let’s be proud.”

 

[stextbox id="grey"]

If You Go to the MLB All-Star Game

Chase Field
401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix
July 12, 2011
Tickets: (602) 514-8400
www.allstargame.com


All-Star Week Schedule:

July 8-12: All-Star FanFest at
Phoenix Convention Center

July 10: All-Star Futures Game
& All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game

July 11: All-Star Workout Day
at Chase Field featuring the
Home Run Derby

July 12: 82nd MLB All-Star
Game at Chase Field

[/stextbox]

 

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011

Chase Field - AZRE Magazine May/June 2011

Chase Field: Keeping It Cool

Gearing up for another typical Phoenix summer and the All-Star Game at Chase Field in July, the Arizona Diamondbacks have partnered with APS on a solar structure that could be considered a doubleheader.

Just In Time For The All-Star Game, Chase Field’s Solar Structure Will Be A Benefit To Many

Erected in a matter of months above the plaza adjacent to Chase Field’s western entrances and ticket booths, this addition provides fans with welcome shade before they enter the air-conditioned stadium and at the same time generates 75 kilowatts of solar power. That’s enough energy to provide electricity for up to nine homes, APS says.
While no one can say how much cooler — or less steamy — it will be under the 250-foot by 65-foot structure, Arizonans know the difference between being in the sun and being in the shade.

In addition, APS intends to use the solar facility as a technical demonstration project that includes electric vehicle charging stations and a battery storage system. What’s more, the structure features educational exhibits that showcase elements of sustainable living, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and recycling.

APS calls a section under the structure “a green energy classroom,” enabling fans to obtain information about living green and saving energy and money. Some displays provide interactive learning opportunities.

Keeping Fans At Chase Field Cool

Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Diamondbacks, says he wanted to create shade outside the Chase Field ballpark for fans attending the All-Star Game on July 12 and related events inside.

“Because of the heightened security, it does take a bit longer to get into the ballpark,” Hall says. “I approached APS about the idea and they loved it, embraced it, with the solar panels on top.”

An additional element — fans for the fans — includes four ceiling fans, 16-feet in diameter, that will produce a gentle breeze of about 7 mph.

“We want to make sure that the fans are a little more comfortable than they would be without that shade,” Hall says.

APS plans to use the solar facility, which will have a 20-year life span, as a technical demonstration project.

“Behind the scenes, this will be a working laboratory,” says Don Robinson, APS president. “We will study what’s possible with urban solar arrays and how we can power electric vehicles directly from the sun.”

Keeping It Green For Arizona

Dan Wool, APS corporate communications specialist, says the utility paid for the project, which cost slightly less than $1M.

“This project is unique to the Diamondbacks and that space,” Wool says. “Basically, it’s like a small solar power plant.”

Energy generated goes directly into the APS power grid. It gives APS the opportunity to study how such a facility works in a downtown area. The test battery storage system is an effort to meet one of the solar energy challenges in Arizona — peak energy-use period around 4-5 p.m.

Andy Kunasek, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which also serves as the Maricopa County Stadium District’s governing board, says, “This new structure represents Maricopa County’s ongoing commitment to green practices and sustainability through a unique public-private partnership dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of the county and Chase Field (Maricopa County owns Chase Field).”

Chris Jenkins, a designer for project architect HKS Inc., says the Chase Field structure spans 17,000 SF and is supported by a series of steel trusses. Solar panels provide shade for 6,000 SF, and fabric in the team colors of Sedona red and desert tan shields the rest of the structure.

“We want to make sure the fans at the All-Star Game don’t walk away and say, ‘It’s too hot here,’ ” Jenkins says.

He concedes that it’s difficult to avoid the heat in Phoenix during the summer, but adds, “We’re going to do what we can.”

Renewable Energy Contractors, a division of Ironco, was the general contractor for construction of the structure. Malcolm Persen, executive vice president, says his company has been installing solar units throughout Arizona for four years, and describes the Chase Field D-Backs’ project as “far and away a showcase.”

AZRE Magazine May/June 2011