Tag Archives: solar panels

global

GPEC position aligned with WTO ruling on tariffs

A ruling by the World Trade Organization earlier last week affirmed the position the Greater Phoenix Economic Council held in 2012, opposing the countervailing duties placed on Chinese-manufactured solar panels.

The ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) counters the position taken by the International Trade Commission (ITC) in 2012, which imposed tariffs on Chinese-manufactured photovoltaic cells and modules. In a formal letter to the US Department of Commerce, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) strongly opposed the tariffs on the grounds the duties would have a detrimental effect on the existing solar and renewable energy industry in the Greater Phoenix region.

“We are encouraged by the decision of the WTO, and are optimistic the US will move quickly to reverse its course on these tariffs,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “Our state leaders have enacted sound pro-business policies, including renewable energy tax credits, which have resulted in significant investment to the region. The 2012 decision by the ITC was completely antithetical to those efforts.”

The ITC is currently considering additional rounds of countervailing duties on solar goods from China; however the recent announcement from the WTO suggests bringing the US measures in line with the ruling offered by the WTO.

For additional information on GPEC’s previous statements regarding this issue, please visit www.gpec.org/tariff.

Calfee06

Cassidy Turley Completes 69,471 SF Lease for 1st United Door Technologies

Cassidy Turley announced it completed a lease for 69,471 square feet for 1st United Door Technologies, LLC at Geneva Industrial, 1016 W. Geneva Drive in Tempe. Senior Vice President Bruce Calfee and Vice President Josh Wyss, of Cassidy Turley’s Industrial Group, represented the Tenant while Executive Vice Presidents Steve Sayre and Pat Harlan represented the Landlord, CLPF Geneva Industrial, LP (Phoenix).
1st United Door Technologies is a Tempe, Arizona based garage door manufacturer. The company specializes in steel and wood doors for both commercial and residential use. Ownership is comprised of the former owners and senior management of Anozira Door Systems. Since 1982, 1st United Door Technologies has been serving Homebuilders across the Nation with unique and distinctive garage doors that enhance the beauty and value of the Builders homes. With over 150 years of door installation and manufacturing experience, the management team is known for providing innovative and quality products at very competitive prices. The new Geneva Industrial location is part of a company expansion.
Built in 1981, Geneva Industrial is a ±69,471 square-foot, industrial manufacturing building. The property is part of the South Tempe Industrial Corridor and is in close to the I-10 and US-60 Freeways. The building is currently 100 percent leased.

Pinnacle Peak Patio

Beat the Heat at Scottsdale's Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse

If you’re looking for entertainment that won’t result in heat exhaustion, you might want to head to Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse in Scottsdale.

Arizona’s largest western steakhouse is planning a free concert series, Cool Summer Nights,” that will kick off June 14, 2013.

LOWER-PATIO-1The higher elevation of Pinnacle Peak Patio provides temperatures at an average of 10 degrees cooler than southern parts of the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. This makes the steakhouse’s patios a popular gathering place throughout the summer months coupled with a relaxed atmosphere and amazing views.

The series will continue with special events planned for July 12, August 16 and September 13. The series features Michelob Ultra, Bud, Bud Light for only $3 and a $12 dinner patio dinner special. Full menu dinners will be available inside the restaurant, as well as a kids’ menu.

Performers include Young Country on July 12, the James Parker Band on August 16, and Mike Easterday on September 13.

Pinnacle Peak Patio Steakhouse is  is located at 10426 E. Jomax Road, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85262.

For more information, please visit http://www.pppatio.com/

energy supply - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Solar Energy Powers Aspire Kids Sports Center

As the sounds of kids jumping, tumbling and somersaulting echo through the Aspire Kids Sports Center in Chandler, solar panels silently soak in the sun on the roof of the 32,000-square-foot facility.

With the help of incentives from the SRP EarthWise Solar Program, owners Scott and Dona Barclay have invested in the 100-kilowatt system, which will provide approximately half of the center’s electricity needs.

“We have had it in our plans to put solar on our building since we built Aspire,” said Scott Barclay. “We feel living in Arizona, it makes sense to utilize the God-given resources provided by the sun. We have had solar water heating on our own home since the 1980s. The technology has now advanced to make it more affordable, so we decided now was the time to act.”

The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art gymnastics equipment, a heated indoor swimming pool, dance and martial arts room and a preschool gym. It is also the home and training center of the ASU men’s gymnastics team.

“Aspire is another example of business owners who are making investments in the future of environmentally, emission-free, renewable energy,” said Lori Singleton, director of SRP Program Operations.

For more information about the SRP EarthWise Energy Solar Program, visit www.srpnet.com/solar.

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

Sarah's Place, AZRE July/August 2011

Multi-Family: Sarah's Place


SARAH’S PLACE

Developer: Glencroft
General contractor: McShane Construction Company
Architect: Orcutt | Winslow
Location: 6670 W. Butler Dr., Glendale
Size: 15,000 SF

The project is a 24-unit senior housing residence on the existing Glencroft senior living campus in Glendale. Sarah’s Place will include 60 rooftop solar panels purchased through a grant from SRP. In addition to individual living spaces, common areas will include a living room, dining area, activities area, library, two kitchens and a den. Completion is expected by 4Q 2011.


AZRE Magazine July/August 2011
Solar Panel - Guadalupe’s First Commercial Solar Project

Guadalupe’s First Commercial Solar Project And McCarthy Commits To Credentialing Program For LEED APs

There is some exciting new green news for Arizona this week.

First, McCarthy Building Companies Inc. has announced its commitment to the Green Building Certification Institute’s Credentialing Maintenance Program for the firm’s 400+ LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs). Credential maintenance is the continuing education completed by LEED Professionals  to be updated on the current information regarding green building practices. The new curriculum is different from the existing program and will focus on the improvements that can be made during design, construction and operations to improve the sustainability of the projects.

“McCarthy’s investment in continuing education underscores the company’s commitment to both its employees and its customers, “ said Beth Holst, Vice President of Credentialing for the Green Building Certification Institute.  “Credential maintenance keeps LEED AP’s at the forefront of the green building field.”

Through the McCarthy Green Curriculum, LEED APs will be required to complete 30 hours of training over the next two years to maintain the new building and design credential.

“Building green is here to stay,” said Chad Dorgan, vice president of quality and sustainability at McCarthy. “Over the next three years alone, we anticipate an 1,125% increase in LEED certified McCarthy projects. Supporting the GBCI Credential Maintenance Program is one important way to keep McCarthy builders at the forefront of this ever-changing industry.”

Secondly, Guadalupe’s first commercial solar project is underway. This project is near completion at Itom A’e, a low-income housing tax credit senior community, which is owned by the Englewood Group. The project will include 290 solar panels totaling 66,700 watts. The group feels so strongly about the power of PV, that they also have signed a contract with Perfect Power Solar to install a second phase system on Itom A’e for their newest senior housing community. The solar system they chose is a major component of the 50,000 square foot building encompassing a 1.47 acre site. Once all this work is done, the association expects to eliminate all of the buildings common area electric energy costs.

Dave Brady, Director of Sales for Perfect Power Solar stated, “It’s all about the kWh.  The systems for Itom A’e is designed to out perform other PV systems by as much as 25 percent.”

www.mccarthy.com
www.perfectpowersolar.com

True Food Kitchen Offers Simple, Delicious Meals

True Food Kitchen Offers Simple, Delicious Meals Emphasizing Local And Regionally Sourced Ingredients

Fresh local and regionally sourced food is always a score. Make it delicious and you’ve got a winner.

True Food Kitchen accomplishes just that.

The brainchild of best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil and Fox Restaurant Concepts, True Food Kitchen was first introduced to the Valley two years ago at the Biltmore Fashion Park. Now, the Scottsdale Quarter has gained a tasty addition to its restaurant repertoire.

The menu at True Food Kitchen is unlike those at typical restaurants. Locally and regionally sourced ingredients create a simple but satisfying menu. Helpful guidelines in the menu allow patrons who are vegan, vegetarian or prefer gluten free to quickly choose their meal.

The new location also has other sustainable elements that add to the restaurant’s “green” vibe. It is partially powered by solar panels and has an herb garden adjacent to the restaurant that is utilized for many of the restaurant’s dishes. It also features high efficiency kitchen equipment, waterless urinals (saving 40,000 gallons of water a year), reclaimed wood floors, compostable take out containers, low voltage LED lighting and much, much more.

One of the neatest green factors I enjoyed is the reusable wine bottles, including a Chardonnay from a local winery in Flagstaff, Kind Vines. The bottles have painted labels and glass corks and are returned to the distributor to be washed, sanitized and reused. A real throwback to the old school milkman days.

Of course, the sustainable theme is felt throughout the restaurant’s décor with elements of nature visible in the fragrant herbs, potted plants and flowers dotting the interior and exterior.

But enough about the green stuff, let’s get to the food. The cuisine at True Food tastes different right away, but only in the best way possible. Every flavor, texture, and aroma is enhanced — you can simply taste the freshness in each bite. We began our meal with shrimp dumplings, comprised of shiitake mushrooms, brocolli, kale, ginger and cilantro – that packed just the right amount of punch.

Then we moved on to some entrees: Chicken Sausage Pizza topped with tomato, fennel and fontina as well as the Teriyaki Rice Bowl, made up of Asian vegetables, sesame, avocado and shrimp. The pizza was made with organic flour, spelt and flax seed and you can almost trick yourself into thinking it was as healthy as pure veggies.  But indeed, the normal greasy, pit-of-the-stomach feeling you get after eating pizza? Gone! These slices tasted fresh and invigorating, a testament to the quality of the ingredients.

The rice bowl was also a hit. Diners have a choice between pairing the dish with tofu, chicken or shrimp. I chose the shrimp option and was also blown away with the result. Just like the pizza, the rice bowl left me feeling satisfied but not stuffed. Each ingredient had its own unique flavor that harmonized perfectly together.

To top it off, we selected a flourless chocolate cake, made with 72 percent cocoa and topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel. The decadent treat was so good, we didn’t even miss the flour.

For an appetizing and healthy meal, True Food Kitchen is a fantastic choice for the health-conscious foodie with a hearty appetite.

If You Go:

Scottsdale Quarter
15191 N. Scottsdale Rd., Ste 100
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
480-265-4500
www.truefoodkitchen.com



Crayon

ASU, Crayola & More Making Sustainable Impact

When it comes to sustainability, it’s a great time to be proud of Arizona.  This week we’ve gathered stories about ASU making the green honor roll, Phoenix being a top city for graduates and others.

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing Shelby Hill.

Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.

ASU Makes the Green Honor Roll
Arizona State University was one of the 18 colleges and universities that made The Princeton Review’s 2011 Green Rating Honor Roll.  ASU was chosen for leading the way in the sustainability movement. It established the first School of Sustainability in the U.S., and employs more solar panels than any other university in the country.

Phoenix is One of the Top Cities for Green Grads
Phoenix is No. nine on mnn.com’s top 10 cities for new grads seeking green jobs.  Sandwiched between Detroit and Houston, Phoenix’s solar capabilities and commitment to green endeavors make it one of the top.  One of Phoenix’s favorite Suns also has his city on the list.  Sacramento, Calif., whose mayor is Kevin Johnson, is No. six.

Yet Another Reason to Buy a Hybrid

Hybrid cars are almost never stolen.  Whereas gas guzzlers like the Cadillac Escalade should just have targets painted on them.  One in every 100 cars that is stolen is an Escalade.  Small cars like the Mini Cooper and the Saturn VUE are also low on a thief’s wish list.

Crayola Goes Green
A 15-acre solar farm could help crayola not just produce green (crayons) but also be green.  Funded in part by a federal stimulus, this farm could produce enough energy to help produce one-third of Crayola’s annual output of crayons.

Walmart and Seventh Generation Team Up
Seventh Generation, which produces environmentally-friendly cleaning products, will put its products in about 1,500 Walmart stores nationwide and online.  Previously Seventh Generation and Walmart haven’t been the best of friends.  But maybe they’re coming together for a greater good?

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Solar Trees: Growing Green

We’ve all heard that money doesn’t grow on trees. Does it grow on solar trees?

One of the latest solar inventions, the Solar Tree, is digging its roots into the business world and residential communities. The idea of the solar tree first sprouted on the streets of Vienna. The concept was a little different, but the overall theme and name are the same.  In Europe, solar trees are used in place of streetlights. The artificial trees provide enough light throughout the night, even if the sun doesn’t shine for four days in a row.   These solar lights even look like trees with branches that hold 10 solar lamps. Designed by Ross Lovegrove, the solar trees saved the city 524,000 KWh of electricity and $96,800 in 2005.

 

Solar Trees: Growing GreenIn the United States, San Diego-based Envision Solar is spearheading this energy-efficient invention with its own Solar Tree. Envision CEO and architect Robert Noble, who wanted to give parking lots more purpose than just a place to keep your car, created its aesthetically pleasing design. With its Solar Tree system, Envision Solar is on a mission to turn parking lots across the country into gardens of alternative energy by “planting” scores of the devices. Each “tree” is topped with a 1,000-square-foot canopy that is covered in solar cells built by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Kyocera.

This system of “planting” several Solar Trees is called a Solar Grove. The Solar Groves work best on large parking lots, and they not only use the sun as a way to produce energy, they also shade cars, displace unwanted run-off, and even have a place to plug in electric vehicles. According to Envision Solar’s Web site “a Solar Grove can pay for itself in as little as five years, and create positive cash flows from the first day of operation by avoiding the cost of existing electricity bills.”

The prices of these “power plants” vary by size, installation, site conditions and a company’s energy usage. Envision Solar will work with a company to create a financial analysis and see what’s right for the business. Also, many states offer incentives for using solar energy. These can be found at www.dsireusa.org.

Solar Trees: Growing GreenOne of Envision Solar’s better-known Solar Grove projects can be found at one of the nations “greenest” college campuses, the University of California at San Diego. Each tree generates more than 17,000 hours of clean energy per year and eliminates 13.2 metric tons of carbon emissions.

Various other kinds of solar trees can be seen all across the U.S. and are not solely produced by Envision Solar. One of the more ambitious projects is at Google’s California headquarters.  Energy Innovations, a company that also produces solar panels for parking lots, installed the 1.6-megawatt design.

Solar Trees were initially created by Envision Solar for large businesses, but have now been transformed to work on a smaller scale. Envision Solar recently started a new line of residential solar applications. An example of this is the LifeTree, a single post steel structure with a cantilevered canopy. It costs around $18,500 and provides about 1.4 kilowatts of clean energy.

Living in Arizona provides businesses and consumers with more than enough sunlight to take advantage of this cost-effective energy system.  Solar Trees are a way to conserve space and energy. They can save a company and consumers money, and make an “eco-friendly” statement. Solar energy is the future and planting these solar “trees” has never had a bigger payoff.

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