Description

The Governors Office of Energy Policy (OEP) and our other partners have demonstrated their commitment to solar energy. Arizona not only enjoys a tremendous solar resource it also has a Renewable Portfolio Standard that established the most aggressive distributive solar requirement in the country. Our partner Tucson is a recipient of two Solar America Cities awards; Phoenix instituted an interconnection agreement with Arizonas largest electric utility company; Tempe is the headquarters to one of the largest PV producers in the world (First Solar); and Goodyear is the North American manufacturing center for the largest PV producer in the world (Suntech Power). Our research partner, Arizona State University is rapidly becoming the premier solar energy research center in the country, having recently received several large DOE solar energy grants. It has just been designated as an Engineering Research Center in Solar Energy by the National Science Foundation, and has recently installed nearly 10MW of PV on campus rooftops. Finally, according to the Solar Energy Industries Associations 1st Quarter 2011 Report, Arizona ranks third in the country in installed solar systems. While impressive, Arizona wants to do better. OEP knows that PV module costs have significantly decreased in the last several years, while permitting and interconnection costs have not. OEP also knows that these latter costs occur at the local level and understands the pressing need to aggressively address this issue. The SunShot Rooftop Solar Challenge will help Arizona maintain leadership by allowing us to achieve measurable improvement in streamlining and standardizing our permitting and interconnection processes and thus reduce cost to the solar consumer. OEP plans to accomplish this in the following manner: since Arizona is a Home Rule state, success in achieving statewide adoption of a standard is best done by way of active education and consensus building, utilizing a bottom-up process. OEP has had success with this model in the energy codes area and believes it can work in the solar area as well. This is also one of the rationales for assembling such a diverse coalition of partners. Consensus building will be achieved in each of the four action areas by identifying appropriate stakeholders. Statewide surveys will be taken in each of the action areas to determine standard practices; this will be refined and become the basis for the development of Arizonas best practices. Arizonas best practices will be compared to state-by-state practice comparisons that organizations like The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Solar Energy Industries Association, Solar Energy Power Association, Database of State Incentives for Renewables& Efficiency and others have generated. Comparing Arizonas best practices to national best practices will help us determine our national ranking. Where major differences in ranking occur, a Gap Analysis would be performed to generate action items as to what is needed for us to achieve that next level of practice. Throughout this process stakeholders in each of the action areas will be meeting to review the best practices documents as they evolve. Once consensus is achieved for each of the best practices, stakeholders will be asked to help plan for the implementation of these practices statewide. During the entire Phase 1 process, OEP and its regional partners will be available for outreach to present the status of the project to interested parties. Because only by engaging a broader audience, i.e. potential solar consumers, to the fact that installed cost and quality of their solar system will be improved by streamlining the permitting and interconnection process, can true market transformation be achieved.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date3/1/126/28/13

Funding

  • US Department of Energy (DOE): $185,900.00

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Energy policy
Solar energy
Solar system
Costs
Industry
Governors
Engineering research
Electric utilities
Education