Tag Archives: Arizona Energy Consortium

energy supply - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Arizona needs clear message to capitalize on energy

States with the most successful industry clusters have a common characteristic — unwavering support from government, industry and the public. The oil and gas industry in Texas was built with support for the industry from all levels. Such support is not garnered unless the industry has a common voice in articulating its needs.

To some extent, Arizona has a robust energy industry. With the largest nuclear power plant in the nation, as well as hydropower and coal resources, our state wields considerable strength in contributing to the region’s power generation. However, as our current energy resources inevitably age and require upgrades or replacements, it is critical that Arizona is strategic about its future resources. It is for that reason that the Arizona Energy Consortium (AEC) recently released the Arizona Energy Roadmap, as a methodology for creating a strategic focus for the growth and further development of the energy industry.

As an environmental and energy attorney working heavily in the energy sector, I have experienced first-hand where the issues lie in the development of energy projects. Whether representing a manufacturer, developer, utility, investor or energy off taker, I have witnessed that any unnecessary barriers to getting projects to market limit Arizona’s ability to grow its industry. It is with this focus in mind that I helped establish and co-chair the AEC. Not only to remove the unnecessary barriers, but also to help create a common voice for our energy industry.

Creating a long-term plan for a state with such a diverse energy mix does not come without its challenges. For instance, sometimes the more established sectors such as coal and natural gas do not necessarily support or understand the need for an emerging renewable energy industry. In fact, in many cases the fossil fuel and renewable energy sectors are at odds because they feel they are in direct competition with each other. However, the AEC is working to educate both sectors on how they can support one another. A “winner take all” approach is not the desired outcome since a diverse energy mix creates a more stable, secure and reliable industry. By working together to find ways traditional fossil fuels can firm intermittent renewable power, as well as utilize common infrastructure, the sectors are beginning to speak, although slowly, with a common message.

Another barrier to development is inefficient permitting processes. Regardless of the technology, permitting delays cost time and money and in many instances can delay a project indefinitely. Since the creation of energy generation projects drives the need for manufacturing, permitting delays also create issues for the growth of the industry cluster. If there are fewer projects coming online, then there are fewer manufacturers who will be attracted to the state to site their facilities. Some of Arizona’s jurisdictions have had success reducing permitting timeframes to better support industry. The AEC is working to continue this process statewide for utility-scale projects, as well as support other entities working to improve the process for distributed generation.

Arizona has the opportunity to benefit from a robust energy economy if it can only address the redundancy in permitting and the confusing messaging. The AEC is focusing these efforts in an attempt to drive economic development, a diversified energy mix and higher paying jobs.

Michelle De Blasi, co-chair of the Arizona Energy Consortium, is a shareholder in the Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig. De Blasi focuses her practice on environmental law, with an emphasis on natural resources matters. She advises clients on energy and environmental sustainability, including traditional and renewable energy project permitting, climate change, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Michelle De Blasi - 50 Most Influential Women in AZ Business

Michelle De Blasi – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Michelle De BlasiShareholder, Greenberg Traurig

De Blasi focuses her practice on environmental law, with an emphasis on natural resources matters. She advises clients on energy and environmental matters, including traditional and renewable energy project development, environmental permitting and compliance, and greenhouse gas emissions. She is also co-chair of the Arizona Energy Consortium.

Surprising fact: “I grew up on a working farm in rural Colorado, but I started my career near the ocean working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

Biggest challenge: “Finding a good work-life balance as a working mom. There are sometimes challenges, but many rewards, and I’m proud my kids know both are options for them.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

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Energy Consortium’s Roadmap puts state of path to build industry

Imagine Arizona as the energy hub of the Southwest — where major regional transmission lines tie into infrastructure in the state and serve a growing regional demand for energy. Arizona would be a place where an increasing percentage of jobs are related to the energy industry, whether in manufacturing, generation, transmission, energy efficiency, service or technology innovation. Many of these jobs would be higher-wage jobs requiring a skilled labor force fed by Arizona’s schools and universities. Arizona could be a hub of energy-sector jobs, with factories making equipment for the industry and power plants shipping electricity to neighboring states via new power lines, all contributing to a better economy.

That is the essence of the Arizona Energy Consortium’s Energy Roadmap, which the group hopes with be a catalyst for the state’s energy industry in the same way Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap helped the state increase bioscience jobs by 41 percent and helped increase the number of bioscience establishments by 27 percent during its 10-year plan.

“It was important to create this document to give the energy industry a unified voice and direction,” said said Michelle De Blasi, co-chair of the AEC and a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig. “The energy industry is going to be here forever. We are always going to need energy. So the Roadmap was designed to make the industry better for everyone — consumers, developers, legislators. So it was critical that we get it right.”

This is the vision the Roadmap hopes to realize over the next decade: Arizona is the energy hub of the Southwest, with a diverse energy mix supporting reliable transmission, a strong base of manufacturing facilities, increased numbers of higher wage jobs, and world-class research institutions, resulting in increased economic development for the state and region.

Once that vision is realized, De Blasi said the state can expect to reap these benefits:
• Enhanced job creation and higher-wage jobs within Arizona
• Increased state economic revenue
• Enhanced energy export potential
• Heightened energy self-sufficiency and national and state security
• Increased transmission reliability
• Continued low cost energy

“This Roadmap is going to help Arizona be looked at differently from outside its borders,” said Chris Davey, co-chair with De Blasi of the AEC and president of EnviroMission, which is developing a solar tower in Western Arizona. “The Roadmap will create a sense of certainty, which appeals to the finance community. So when they are looking to invest, that certainty creates a more attractive environment for developers and investors.”

Davey and De Blasi said they will be rolling out the Roadmap this year, presenting it to groups throughout the state. For more information on the Roadmap, visit aztechcouncil.org.

ROADMAP CONTRIBUTORS

Arizona Commerce Authority
Arizona Governor’s Office of Energy Policy
Arizona Public Service
Bridge Strategy Group
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
City of Mesa, the Office of the Mayor
Cleantech Open
Dircks
DIRTT
DMB Associates
Energy Services Coalition
EnviroMission
Faithful+Gould
Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Greenberg Traurig
The Green Chamber – Greater Phoenix
Golder Associates
Hensel Phelps
Ikoloji
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
J.D. Porter & Associates
Kolbe Connect
Matthew McDonnell
Ormond Group, LLC
RG Schmelzer, Inc.
Salt River Project
Stream Energy
Tucson Electric Power
Valley Forward
Valley Partnership

energy supply - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Energy Supply And Demand – A Holistic Approach To Energy Independence

Energy is the lifeblood of the economy. Arizona’s population and energy use are projected to grow for the foreseeable future and our economic prosperity is closely tied to the availability of reliable and affordable supplies of energy. While energy supply, energy demand and the natural environment are at a significant point of conflict, the effect of this tension can be mitigated through a collaborative effort among all stakeholders which can help create balance.

The need for collaboration is at the heart of why the Arizona Technology Council accepted the responsibility of leadership for the Arizona Energy Consortium (AEC) in July, 2011. The effort was established under the auspices of the City of Phoenix related to a grant from the Federal Department of Labor to establish strategies for integrating the workforce needs of targeted green energy industries in Arizona. The City, as part of the central region, was awarded a large portion of the Arizona State Energy Sector Partnership (SESP) grant that agreed to establish an energy consortium to define the workforce needs in the energy arena. Thus, the Arizona Energy Consortium was founded.

City leaders quickly realized they were addressing issues that went well beyond city borders and the workforce. When the City of Phoenix approached the Council about taking AEC under its wing, it made perfect sense to us. The Council has members from every side of the energy equation, from traditional production to renewable and energy conservation. We represent a statewide neutral ground that’s not tied to a particular technology, and can embody the entire energy industry.

Today, the AEC is comprised of more than 250 members from the state’s diverse energy sectors and is co-chaired by Michelle De Blasi, a partner with the law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP and chair of its Solar Energy Law Team, and Christopher Davey, executive director of EnviroMission. Constituents from city and state governments, utilities, law firms, conservation groups, private industry and universities are all working together to get real work done and break down the silos that have long existed in Arizona.

One of the charters of AEC is to serve as a supportive venue for current and new members locating or expanding their businesses within the state, as well as a repository for reliable information related to the energy industry. In addition, AEC is providing meaningful input towards the development of a long-term Energy Roadmap to strongly promote both economic development initiatives and continued technological innovation across the state. The end result will be similar to the long-term bioscience roadmap initiated by the Flinn Foundation designed to make the state’s life sciences sector globally competitive.

Can we achieve energy independence in our lifetime? Given Arizona’s unique abundance of sunshine, we certainly have an advantage on the production side of the equation in the renewable energy sector and are well positioned to become an exporter of energy. Arizona possesses many of the essential elements necessary to become a global leader in energy, but must strengthen its will, focus, collaboration and messaging, to achieve this goal. With everyone working together to raise all boats, AEC is taking this holistic approach.

For more information, visit aztechcouncil.org/committees/aec.


Steven G. Zylstra is president and chief executive officer of the Arizona Technology Council.

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012

Arizona Energy Consortium - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Arizona Energy Consortium – Power Brokers Leading The Charge

The Arizona Energy Consortium is establishing the energy roadmap to create a brighter economic future for Arizona. The following individuals are leading the charge.

Robert Bowling - First SolarRobert Bowling
Company: First Solar  

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-Chair of the Workforce Development Committee, which focuses its efforts on current barriers to Arizona’s energy workforce development, as well as devising potential solutions to overcome such barriers.

Relationship to the energy industry:
25 years of power generation experience in Fossil, Hydro and PV.

Why he became involved with the AEC:
“Having always been ‘involved’ in various initiatives throughout Arizona, I saw the value that this consortium has towards the greater good for all Arizonans.”

Why he thinks Arizona needs the AEC:
“As a nation we all understand the various issues surrounding energy dependence. The Arizona Energy Consortium will help AZ be the leader in a variety of energy issues.”

Predicted impact the AEC will make on Arizona by 2022:
“Hopefully by making Arizona the leader in lost cost, sustainable energy production and a hub for energy innovations.”

Tekla Taylor - Golder AssociatesTekla Taylor
Company: Golder Associates, Inc.

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-Chair of the Membership Committee, which is dedicated to growing the Arizona Energy Consortium in terms of membership recruitment, as well as promoting the AEC in the form of event planning and hosting. Members of this committee will be responsible for identifying members who could positively contribute to, as well as benefit from, involvement within the AEC.

Relationship to the energy industry:
Manager, Golder Energy Services US

Why she become involved with the AEC:
“Actively participating in AEC keeps us informed of the opportunities and challenges that face energy sector growth in Arizona thereby impacting our clients.”

Why she thinks Arizona needs the AEC:
“Collaboration among all stakeholders in the industry is critical to ensuring long term success and placing Arizona as a leader in the renewable energy market.”

Predicted impact the AEC will make on Arizona by 2022:
“Through design and implementation of innovative renewable market solutions, AEC will have a significant impact on market sector growth, diversity and economic development.”

Mary Wolf-Francis - DIRTT Environmental SolutionsMary Wolf-Francis
Company: DIRTT Environmental Solutions

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-Chair of the Energy Efficiency Committee, which is responsible for reviewing energy efficiency programs, as well as current barriers to energy efficiency across a wide range of Arizona energy sectors (solar, natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear, wind, geothermal, etc.). Members are encouraged upon review of energy efficiency barriers, to develop potential solutions that would maximize energy efficiency and encourage future Arizona project development.

Relationship to the energy industry:
Business liaison for the State Energy Sector Partnership Grant that brought the Arizona Energy Consortium into fruition as part of the objectives in the grant.

Why she became involved with the AEC:
Brought companies in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainability and utilities together to discuss creating the AEC then passed the torch to Michelle De Blasi and Steve Zylstra at the Arizona Technology Council.

Why she thinks Arizona needs the AEC:
“Companies in Arizona need to work together to grow and sustain energy companies here in the state.

Predicted impact the AEC will make on Arizona by 2022:
“The AEC will be the catalyst for diversifying our energy companies here in Arizona to reduce our reliance on the grid.”

Chris Davey - EnviroMissionChris Davey
Company: EnviroMission

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-chair of the Arizona Energy Consortium and co-chair of the Energy Roadmap Committee, which will focus its efforts on developing and implementing an Energy Sector Roadmap for Arizona. Documents such as, Arizona’s Solar Strategic Plan and Arizona Town Hall’s AZ’s Energy Future Report will be utilized in constructing the Energy Sector Roadmap.

Relationship to the energy industry:
As executive director of EnviroMission, he has been vital to the development of the first U.S. Solar Tower project in western Arizona. He has negotiated a number of Power Purchase Agreements, secured parcels of land with both governmental and private bodies, raised capital to deliver the unique Solar Tower technology and advocated on behalf of the solar industry.

Why he became involved with the AEC:
“I want to put something in place to make it easier for people to get done what I’m getting done now. I’m from 8,000 miles away, but I call Arizona home now and I want to make it a better place.”

Michelle De Blasi - Quarles & BradyMichelle De Blasi
Company: Quarles & Brady

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-chair of the Arizona Energy Consortium and co-chair of the Energy Roadmap Committee, which will focus its efforts on developing and implementing an Energy Sector Roadmap for Arizona. Documents such as Arizona’s Solar Strategic Plan and Arizona Town Hall’s AZ’s Energy Future Report will be utilized in constructing the Energy Sector Roadmap.

Relationship to the energy industry:
She is chair of the firm’s Solar Energy Law Team and focuses her practice on guiding renewable energy projects from concept to completion. In addition, she practices in the area of environmental and natural resources law advising clients on federal and state air and water quality issues.

Why she became involved with the AEC:
“With its solar resource and geographic proximity to target markets such as California, Arizona has an opportunity to revitalize its economy by continuing to grow its clean energy sector. By combining business leadership with guidance for good public policy, the Arizona Energy Consortium will play an important role in helping Arizona achieve its clean energy sector expansion goals.”

Ann Marie Chischilly, Esq. - ITEP at NAUAnn Marie Chischilly, Esq.
Company: Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) at Northern Arizona University

Position with Arizona Energy Consortium:
Co-chair of the Public Outreach Committee, which is responsible for educating investors, developers, legislators, and the general public on the Arizona Energy Consortium and the energy industry.

Relationship to the energy industry:
“I began my work in the energy industry as an attorney with the Gila River Indian Community and founded their Renewable Energy Team in 2010. I began my position at NAU in April 2011 and have been developing the Tribal Clean Energy Resource Center, which will help tribes and Alaska Native Villages transition from fossil fuel based energy to clean and renewable energy. For 20 years, ITEP has become a national leader in training and educating tribes in the environmental mediums and has served more than 500 of the 565 tribes nationally.”

Why she become involved with the AEC:
“I want the 22 tribes of Arizona to be included in the process of developing the Energy Roadmap and seeking their input is essential to accomplishing the mission.”

Why she thinks Arizona needs the AEC:
“Arizona has many great organizations, but AEC captures all of them into one group and unites the renewable-energy sector. Becoming more organized and united will make Arizona a leader in this industry.”

Predicted impact the AEC will make on Arizona by 2022:
”The AEC will help Arizona become a leader in the renewable energy industry nationally.”

For more information on Arizona Energy Consortium, visit Arizona Technology Council’s website at aztechcouncil.org/committees/aec.

Go to related article – AEC – Creating an Energy Roadmap

AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

energy policies

Congressional Candidates To Provide Input On Energy Policies

The Arizona Energy Consortium (AEC), a committee of the Arizona Technology Council, announced that it has invited the state’s District Nine congressional candidates to attend its next regularly scheduled meeting to discuss their energy policies. The meeting is Friday, June 15, 2012 at 9 a.m. in the Phoenix office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

“As Arizona positions itself to be a leader in solar energy production and grow the industry in both our state and nationally, the AEC’s updated Arizona Solar Strategic Plan establishes the foundation for us to move the discussion and planning efforts forward,” said Michelle De Blasi, a shareholder and Phoenix Group Chair of the Energy and Infrastructure Practice at Greenberg Traurig, LLP, as well as co-chair of the AEC. “Through increased collaboration among energy sector participants, including the legislators, we look forward to identifying ways to integrate into our diverse energy mix the many facets of solar production — solar generation, technology innovation and manufacturing.”

Christopher Davey, Executive Director of EnviroMission and co-chair of the AEC, commented, “We are thrilled that the congressional candidates will join the AEC and share their policies on Arizona’s Energy Future.”

According to the AEC, the congressional candidates confirmed to attend the meeting include Andrei Cherney, Travis Grantham, Leah Campos Schandlbauer, David Schapira, Kyrsten Sinema and Jeff Thompson.

For more information on the Arizona Technology Council and their energy policies, visit Arizona Technology Council’s website at aztechcouncil.org.

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AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012

EVER-CHANGING ECONOMY

Michael GossieIn 2007, when SRP commissioned its Metro-Phoenix Business Study, just 1 percent of those business owners and executives surveyed cited the economy as a challenge or obstacle they had to overcome in the previous two or three years. When the same study was released this year, 56 percent of the responses cited the economy as a major challenge that they had to be overcome. Times have changed. We’re entering a new, more optimistic, yet significantly more cautious era. Despite enduring a tumultuous four years, 50 percent of those businesses surveyed for the 2011 SRP study anticipate their financial position will improve in the next 12 months. This issue of Arizona Business Magazine reflects that simmering optimism. Our special report shows that manufacturing, technology, healthcare and bioscience are leading the charge in Arizona job growth. And our Arizona Energy Consortium supplement introduces you to the folks who are drafting a comprehensive and cohesive energy plan that will create a brighter future for Arizona literally and figuratively. We have sunny days ahead, and not just because we live in Arizona.

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Michael Gossie, Managing Editor

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