Arizona’s solar installations increased from 63 MW in the first quarter of this year to 172.7 MW in the second. This increase made Arizona number two for solar installations in the United States for that period, behind California with 216.9 MW. (Additionally, Arizona’s solar growth is more impressive on a per capita basis, because they have a population of about 6.4-6.5 million, and California’s is between 37 and 38 million.) Overall, though, California generates more of its energy from clean sources.
Most of Arizona’s surge in solar installations was for utility facilities, rather than residential sites. Residential solar construction is still happening, though, due to incentives such as the federal residential energy-efficient property credit. Arizona Public Service rebates also are aiding these efforts.
Arizona’s abundant sunshine and wide open spaces make it an excellent location for solar power, and yet it largely has not been exploited. An article from the Tucson Citizen some years ago actually went as far as saying the state was ‘ignoring’ its potential for solar power development. An August 2012 report from the Center for American Progress found Arizona could install 2,424 MW of solar in the next twenty years. It also said a direct investment of $11.3 billion would result in the creation of nearly 16,000 solar-related jobs in the state. A 2007 report said Arizona had 2,500 MW of undeveloped solar potential. This number seems very low.
Image Credit: Schwnj, Wiki Commons
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