Arizona's solar industry has had tremendous growth over the last 4 years. It is one of the sunniest states and it is experiencing one of the largest increases in solar installations in the nation. However, due to public debates about the benefits of solar, imposition of a net metering charge and elimination of the incentives, the market has slowed in 2014. SEIA is working with local stakeholders and policy makers to encourage stability and transparency into policies, so that the market can recover from this market disturbance and continue to grow.
Facts on the Arizona Solar Industry
There are currently more than 360 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Arizona, employing 8,558 people.
In 2013, Arizona installed 701 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 2nd nationally.
The 1,929 MW of solar energy currently installed in Arizona ranks the state 2nd in the country in installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 271,000 homes.
In 2013, $1.2 billion was invested in Arizona to install solar for home, business and utility use.
Average installed residential and commercial photovoltaic system prices in Arizona have fallen by 5% in the last year. National prices have also dropped steadily — by 8% from last year and 34% from 2010.
Get more solar industry data.
SEIA Arizona State Policy Priorities
- Promote distributed generation (including wholesale DG) policies.
- Ensure future access to net metering for solar customers.
- Work with stakeholders to ensure reasonable and equitable property taxation treatment for solar systems.
Arizona Net Metering
After months of workshops, regulatory filings and a media battle, on November 14, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) made an important decision regarding net metering. While APS’s original proposal of a $50-$100 monthly charge was rejected, the ACC did approve a $0.70/kW monthly charge for new residential solar customer (a $3.50 monthly charge for a 5 kW system). While SEIA is concerned with imposing an interim charge outside of a rate case, the decision also confirms that the general rate case in 2015 is the appropriate venue for such discussions.
In 2014, ACC has held a workshop process to further investigate the true costs and benefits of solar. Throughout this process and discussion, it has become evident that Arizonans care deeply about their right to generate their own power from the sun.
Notable Solar Installations in Arizona
- Agua Caliente in Yuma County was completed in 2013 by developer First Solar. This photovoltaic project has the capacity to generate 250 MW of electricity-- enough to power over 100,000 Arizona homes. An additional 12 MW will come online later this year.
- Another utility-scale project, Avalon Solar Park, is currently under construction in Arizona and is scheduled to come online in 2015. Developed by Swinerton Renewable Energy, this 35 MW photovoltaic project will generate enough electricity to power 4,900 homes.
- At 280 MW, Solana in Gila Bend is among the largest solar installations in Arizona. Completed in 2013 by Abengoa, this concentrating solar power project has enough electric capacity to power more than 70,000 homes.
See our solar installations maps.
Solar Companies in Arizona
There are currently more than 360 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Arizona. These companies provide a wide variety of solar products and services ranging from solar system installations to the manufacturing of components used in photovoltaic panels. These companies can be broken down across the following categories: 60 manufacturers, 27 manufacturing facilities, 179 contractor/installers, 22 project developers, 32 distributors and 67 engaged in other solar activities including financing, engineering and legal support.
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Arizona State Solar Policy Resources
Arizona Corporation Commission – Learn about the governing body that regulates the electricity rates and services of Arizona public utilities
Arizona State Legislature – Track pending legislation affecting solar energy, locate and contact individual legislators, and stay up to date on current legislative issues in Arizona
Arizona Governor's Office of Energy Policy – Find a wide variety of information on state government energy programs, policy, projects, energy-saving strategies and energy-related statistics
Arizona State University - Solar Power Lab – Read about the innovative solar technology research taking place at Arizona State University
Arizona Goes Solar – Learn about residential and commercial solar energy options and related regulations through a collaborative effort led by the Arizona Corporation Commission and implemented by the regulated electric utilities in Arizona
DSIRE Incentives Database - Arizona – Search a public clearinghouse for specific solar energy incentives in Arizona and across the United States
U.S. Energy Information Administration - Arizona State Profile – Explore official energy statistics, including data on electricity supply and demand, from the U.S. government