Next up: Crunch time for Arizona solar

18 April of 2009 by

Solar power may be the gift that lasts forever (in human scale,anyway), but states wanting to attract solar manufacturers have justfive years.

That’s what Peter Green, CEO of Advent Solar, told a gathering of industry leaders today in Phoenix.

peter green small4 300x168 Next up: Crunch time for Arizona solar

Green: "Arizona has a perishable opportunity."

Not everyone agrees.

“I think it’s more like three years,” said SolarCity chief Lyndon Rive.

Talking with some of the other participants during a break, I didn’tfind anyone disagreeing with the premise. “It’s a matter of when [thewindow closes],” said one exec., “not if.”

I’ll have video from the conference up tomorrow, but for now, here’s a short (and somewhat random) summary.

Surviving the Shakeout

According to host Greentech Media,the two-day event was sold-out — even though registration cost close to$1,000. That should underscore both the concern and the excitement inthe solar industry — sentiments shared by Arizona CorporationCommissioner Kris Mayes.

kris mayes edit 300x182 Next up: Crunch time for Arizona solar

Mayes: "If we don’t change, we won’t get people like Peter to come here."

“My vision for Arizona,” she said, “is that when you fly into SkyHarbor airport, you’ll see as many solar panels on rooftops as you doswimming pools in people’s backyards.”

But for that to become reality, Mayes points out, the Grand Canyonstate is going to have to change how it looks at this emergingmega-market.

David Arfin shares this perspective. As VP of customer financing for SolarCity, Arfin is hoping that the AZ legislature adopts changes that will allow solar manufacturing to blossom in the desert.

SolarCity's David Arfin

SolarCity’s David Arfin

“Markets move in particular ways,” Arfin said, “and you need to have a responsive legislative body.”

More on Greentech Media’s solar industry summit, tomorrow, featuringan interview with Advent’s Peter Green (who swears he didn’t adopt hislast name as a marketing gimmick).

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