First Look: ArizonaGoesSolar.org
“The site’s name says it all,” Arizona Corporation Commission chairKris Mayes told reporters at a formal unveiling this morning. “It isn’tcalled ‘Arizona went solar.’ It isn’t ‘Arizona will go solar.’ It’s called ‘Arizona Goes Solar.’
“The Commission is hoping that Arizonagoessolar.org will be themeet-up place for every Arizonan who is interested in solar energy inour state,” explained Mayes. “This website will increase thetransparency of solar rebates and incentives, and provide a real-timelook at where solar systems are being deployed and how much energy theycan produce.”
Briefly, here are a few screen grabs showing some of the new site’s features.
Arizona Solar Map
For many, the most exciting and useful feature at the site is the mappingprogram. The site shows nearly every solar installation in the state byzip code. The information is supplied by the relevant utility company,and is updated every two weeks.
Say, for example, you’re considering installing solar panels at yourhome. Just plug in your zip code and see how many others have alreadygone solar.
Utility-scale solar projects are also mapped and can be located byzip code or simply by finding the blue utility icon on the map.
“The Arizona Goes Solar website will go a long way toward increasingtransparency for solar installations,” said Commissioner Paul Newman.“We’ve heard a lot of complaints about the lack of information on solarreservations. This website will be a useful tool for solar installers,ratepayers, utilities and researchers.”
Details pop up when an icon is double-clicked. I plugged in my zipcode and clicked on the icon to get the information seen in the graphicbelow. It shows a total of 26 residential installations in my area, with a total capacity of 88 kW.
You can also click on the “non-residential” tab to see details oncommercial installations in your zip code. (There were none shown formine, but that’s not too surprising. It’s a small residentialneighborhood.)
There’s useful information about various aspects of solar power inArizona throughout the site. For a first time user, it’s particularlyhelpful for understanding some of the more esoteric areas, such as thestate’s Renewable Energy Standard:
The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) established the Renewable EnergyStandard (RES) in August, 2007 to identify short– and long–termrenewable energy requirements for the state. The long–term requirementis for 15 percent of retail energy sales from ACC–regulated electricutilities to come from renewable energy resources by the year 2025. Thecurrent RES requirement is 2.5 percent of total each utility’s retailsales in 2010 and the rules prescribe that 25 percent of thatrequirement is to come from distributed energy resources DistributedEnergy resources are installed on the customer’s premises and are usedto offset customer load, such as rooftop solar panels. Half of thedistributed energy or customer–owned requirement must be met by systemsamong residential customers and the other half from business customers.
The site also includes information about various workshops held around the state…
…and links to tax credits, rebates and other incentives for renewable energy installations.
But there’s one thing you shouldn’t expect to find, Mayes told reporters at the unveiling: the names of politicians.
“This is the people’s page.” she said. “It’s designed solely toprovide information on solar power. My hope,” concluded Mayes, who isterm-limited out of the ACC this November, “is that it will remain justthat.”
The Phoenix Sun covers solar power from Phoenix, Arizona – the sunniest major city in the nation. In addition to reportingon innovations in solar technology, green job growth and advice for homeowners who want to go solar, the Sun investigates stories you won’t findelsewhere. We cover the legal, political and regulatory framework that has keptthe US solar power industry far behind competitors in Europe and Asia. And wetrack the potential for a solar surge today and tomorrow. The sun isedited by investigative reporter Osha Gray Davidson who has covered theenvironment and politics for 25 years, writing for Mother Jones, RollingStone, the New York Times, and other national and international publications.Articles l Homepage
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