Tag Archives: arizona energy

solar panels, renewable energy

As Renewable Energy Makes Process, Energy Policy To Be Explored

An unlikely group of bedfellows gathered for a private meeting last month to discuss the future of energy policy in Arizona. While they didn’t solve any issues, there is a measure of success in simply convening dialogue among this small but powerful group of diverse stakeholders representing the governor’s office, state legislature, Arizona Corporation Commission, utilities, private industry and the nonprofit sector. Objective, civil discourse on sometimes contentious topics can be productive.

The renewable energy sector has made inroads in Arizona, including the following notable accomplishments:

  • In 2001, Arizona established one of the first Renewable Portfolio Standards in the U.S. and today are targeting 15 percent by 2025, with the highest solar carve out in the nation.
  • The National Renewable Energy Lab ranks Arizona the best state for solar capacity.
  • Greater Phoenix is home to both pioneering research institutions as well as the world’s largest solar generation projects.
  • Arizona offers renewable companies refundable corporate income tax credits and reduced real and personal property taxes. Arizona passed landmark legislation opening the door for renewable energy companies to expand here — not just solar, but also wind, biofuel, geothermal and other technologies.
  • Our major utilities are servicing more than 30,000 Arizona customers with rooftop solar.
  • In addition, utilities have installed more than 316 MWs of energy through large-scale solar projects and 225 MW of wind energy in the state.
  • We have relatively low electricity rates compared to many other states in the country.
  • And, our energy efficiency standard is also very aggressive.

However, energy policy in Arizona has gone virtually unchanged since we became a state 100 years ago, so it is inevitably time to evaluate and explore what’s next and best for our state’s energy future. As a non-partisan, third-party interest, Arizona Forward is committed to helping ascertain how major stakeholders can work together on critical statewide issues and is dedicated to continuing this productive dialogue among energy sector leaders.

duke energy renewables - solar panel

Duke Energy Renewables Acquires Arizona Solar Farm From SOLON

Duke Energy Renewables has acquired a 10-megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar project near Kingman, Ariz., from SOLON Corp.

The Black Mountain Solar Project under construction in Mohave County is expected to achieve commercial operation in October of this year. UniSource Energy Services (UES) will purchase the power generated at the Black Mountain site through a 20-year power purchase agreement.

“This acquisition expands our footprint in the western United States and helps a premier Arizona energy service provider deliver affordable, zero-emission renewable power to its customers,” said Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf. “Comprised of more than 40,000 solar panels, the Black Mountain project is expected to produce enough electricity to power about 2,000 homes.”

Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy’s Commercial Businesses, purchased the photovoltaic project from SOLON Corp., one of the largest solar power plant developers in the U.S. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SOLON designed the solar array, powered by SOLON’s single-axis tracking technology, and will construct and continue to handle operations, monitoring and maintenance of the system after it is commissioned.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Duke Energy on this project to provide a cost effective way for Unisource Energy Services to bring solar to Arizona,” said Dan Alcombright, president and CEO of SOLON Corporation. “With more than 60 MW of utility-scale photovoltaic systems installed in Arizona, SOLON is committed to delivering proven solutions to utilities and creating renewable energy jobs for the economy. We are proud that this 10-MW project will create more than 250 local jobs during construction.”

Duke Energy Renewables already owns two other solar facilities in the state: the 4-MW Ajo Solar Farm in Pima County and the 15-MW Bagdad Solar Farm in Yavapai County.

Black Mountain is Duke Energy Renewables’ 12th wholly owned commercial solar farm. Since 2007, Duke Energy has invested more than $2.5 billion to grow its commercial wind and solar business lines.

For more information on Duke Energy Renewables, visit Duke Energy Renewables’ website at duke-energy.com/commercial-renewables.