All posts in "Renewable Energy"

Arizona Court To Consider Taxation Of Leased Solar Panels

 

Via journalgazette.net

PHOENIX (AP) The Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to review lower courts’ rulings that the state cannot require companies leasing rooftop solar systems to homeowners to pay property tax for the systems.

The state Court of Appeals last May upheld a trial judge’s ruling that state Department of Revenue was wrong when it determined in 2013 the leased rooftop solar systems should be subject to property tax as electricity generating systems.

Leasing companies SolarCity Corp. and SunRun Inc. sued the department, and a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled in their favor.

The high court’s order Monday says the justices will hear oral arguments on the case.

 

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First Solar Bets Its Future On A New Panel

 

Via bloomberg.com

First Solar Inc. is poised to take the wraps off the Series 6 panel Tuesday, a long-awaited product rollout that has huge implications for the biggest U.S. solar manufacturer.

It’s not a stretch to say that Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar has bet its future on the success of this product. As solar panels get cheaper and cheaper, and global demand continues to swell, production costs have become key to competing against other companies, especially in Asia where most of the world’s panels are produced.

First Solar has “become a pure widget manufacturer and they need to compete exclusively on cost,” said Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James Financial Inc. “It’s a risky bet. They need to show a cost road map that keeps them ahead of China.”

 

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AZ Community Goes 80% Off-Grid

 

Via utilitydive.com

The Jasper community will not be wholly-independent of the Arizona Public Service grid, but developers told PV Magazine that it will supply up to 80% of its own energy and will use otherwise-wasted baseload generation from the Palo Verde nuclear plant when demand is low, from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. each morning.

Sonnen Director of Business Development Olaf Lohr told the magazine that the development would be an overall benefit to APS’ grid, helping to address load curves. In addition to taking power from the nuclear plant, Jasper will soak up excess solar production during midday hours when demand is low.

Dave Everson, CEO and founder of Mandalay Homes, said in a statement that a “true renewable energy future is not possible for our society, or for any society, without the deployment of distributed energy storage resources that properly manage clean energy production, storage, grid usage and home energy demand.”

 

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How Tariffs Could Help And Hurt The Solar Industry

 

Via knau.org

The U.S. solar industry is booming in large part because of cheap, imported solar panels. But a U.S. trade commission says those imports also hurt manufacturers here. It’s offering recommendations to President Trump on how to repair that damage, but the industry is divided over whether any remedy would do more harm than good.

SolarWorld outside Portland, Oregon, is one of two manufacturers who brought the trade suit. At its plant, robots do much of work of building solar cells into panels.”They’re picked up, put on this belt,” says John Clason, as he loads stacks of solar cells the size of large drink coasters into the automated machines. “These panels we’re making now are just about 300 watts each.”But SolarWorld is having trouble competing with imports, mainly from Asia, that it alleges are being sold at below-market prices in violation of trade rules. Earlier this year the company declared bankruptcy and laid off more than 300 workers, including Clason.”That was when we knew something was amiss,” he says. “Nobody really knew how deep the cuts were going to go.”SolarWorld and another manufacturing company, Suniva, want tariffs and quotas on all the solar panels coming in from overseas, saying it would level the playing field.”These are the last two surviving companies,” says Tim Brightbill, the lawyer representing SolarWorld in the case. He blames Chinese subsidies for overproduction, and says without tariffs, what’s left of solar manufacturing in the U.S. could disappear. “We documented more than 30 U.S. solar cell and module manufacturers who were driven out of business in the last five years,” he says.A few weeks ago, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled in SolarWorld’s favor. The company hired Clason and others back to work, and now says it plans to re-hire 200 workers by May.

“I can’t overstate how crazy and chaotic things are.”

 

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Arizona Joins Electric Car Corridor

 

Via manufacturing.net

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed onto a plan with other governors to help expand the use of electric vehicles by creating a corridor of charging stations across several western states.

The agreement signed Thursday commits Arizona to meet with the other states to develop voluntary standards for charging station locations and spacing, establish minimum standards and work to expand electric vehicle use.

The goal is to create an Intermountain West Electric Vehicle Corridor that will allow drivers to cross the member states.

 

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University of Arizona Opens Centre For Biofuels And Bioproducts Research

 

canadianbiomassmagazine.ca

The University of Arizona has received a five-year grant of up to $15 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to lead a new centre focusing on the mass production of biofuels and bioproducts in the Southwestern U.S.

Kimberly Ogden, director of the UA Institute for Energy Solutions and a professor in the College of Engineering, will head the Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions Center. The goals of the centre include addressing the nation’s needs for biofuels and bioproducts, strengthening Arizona’s bioeconomy – the parts of the economy that use renewable biological resources such as crops or algae – and providing training for the next generation of scientists and engineers.

“Researchers at the University of Arizona are ideally positioned to solve complex environmental and economic problems,” said UA President Robert C. Robbins. “This grant will help us work alongside the community, industry and partner universities across the Southwest to grow our region’s economy while finding cleaner and more sustainable energy sources for the future.”

 

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EPA Scraps Clean Power Plan, But AZ Still Vow Lower emissions

 

Via azdailysun.com

WASHINGTON – Arizona utilities and regulators said they plan to continue working toward the lower carbon emission goals that had been set in the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, even though federal officials said this week that they are scrapping the program.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Tuesday that he will revoke the Obama-era plan, which set emission-reduction goals for every state but which critics said ended up handcuffing states.

Arizona had faced some of the nation’s steepest emissions cuts under the plan. But Arizona regulators said they would continue to work on the plan, and utilities in the state said they are still committed to cutting emissions, with or without the plan.

 

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UA To Head New Center Focusing On Biofuels And Bioproducts

 

Via uanews.arizona.edu

The University of Arizona has received a five-year grant of up to $15 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to lead a new center focusing on the mass production of biofuels and bioproducts in the Southwestern U.S.

Kimberly Ogden, director of the UA Institute for Energy Solutions and a professor in the College of Engineering, will head the Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions Center. The goals of the center include addressing the nation’s needs for biofuels and bioproducts, strengthening Arizona’s bioeconomy — the parts of the economy that use renewable biological resources such as crops or algae — and providing training for the next generation of scientists and engineers.

“Researchers at the University of Arizona are ideally positioned to solve complex environmental and economic problems,” said UA President Robert C. Robbins. “This grant will help us work alongside the community, industry and partner universities across the Southwest to grow our region’s economy while finding cleaner and more sustainable energy sources for the future.”

 

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Apache Solar Project To Provide Solar Energy To Cochise County And Beyond

 

Via willcoxrangenews.com

Rep. Martha McSally gives the keynote address during Friday’s Apache Solar Project dedication, near Cochise. McSally called the project a “great example of member-driven co-ops, from the bottom up, figuring out ways to provide reliable power to the community, instead of top-down bureaucrats telling them what to do.”

State Rep. Drew John, R-Safford, and U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Apache Solar Project, near Cochise, last week. The electric power from the project’s 77,000 solar panels now flows into a transformer at the Apache Generating Station, and from there, to the power grid.

Now, when the sun shines over the Willcox Playa, near Cochise, it also shines “across more than 77,000 solar panels at the Apache Solar Project,” located on the Playa’s west boundary.

 

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APS uses ‘reverse demand response’ To Avoid Renewables Curtailment

 

Via utilitydive.com

Growth in renewable energy has occasionally led to excess power and negative pricing. Utilities are finding creative ways to help balance the system while lowering costs.

If you are looking for a good deal on energy in Arizona, here’s a hint: around lunchtime in the month of March, it’s usually free.

Arizona Public Service recently proposed a slate of efficiency and demand-side measures that include many of the usual suspects, along with new takes on traditional resources. The utility’s plan includes incentives for smart thermostats, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, energy storage and water heater timers — along with a new “reverse demand response” product that aims to balance system load with excess renewable generation.

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