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 452 solar companies1 at work throughout the value chain in Arizona, employing 6,922 people2.
- In 2015, Arizona installed 258 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it fifth nationally. Installed solar capacity in Arizona has grown by 4% over the last year3.
- In 2015, $582 million was invested on solar installations in Arizona.
- The 2,389 MW of solar energy currently installed in Arizona ranks the state second in the country in installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 339,000 homes.
- Over the next five years, Arizona is expected to install 2,486 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking the state fifth over that time span. This amount is more than 2 times the amount of solar installed over the last five years.
- Installed solar PV system prices in the U.S. have dropped steadily- by 12% from last year and 66% from 2010.
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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 290 MW of electricity-- enough to power over 41,200 Arizona homes4.
- At 125 MW, Arlington Valley Solar Project II is among the largest solar installations in Arizona. Completed in 2015 by LS Power, this photovoltaic project has enough electric capacity to power more than 17,700 homes5.
- Several large retailers in Arizona have gone solar, including Walmart, REI, Intel and IKEA. Macy's has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 3,456 kW of solar capacity at their location in Goodyear6.
See our solar installations maps.
Solar Companies in Arizona
There are currently more than 452 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: 73 manufacturers, 28 manufacturing facilities, 231 contractor/installers, 27 project developers, 38 distributors and 83 engaged in other solar activities including financing, engineering and legal support.
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Solar panel costs have fallen significantly in the last 5 years and now installing solar panels can be one of the best investments you can make for your home. There are also now a lot of products on the market utilizing sophisticated financing vehicles to make solar panels for your home affordable. This website will show you the average retail price of installing home solar panels in Arizona.
Solar rebates and solar tax credits in Arizona.
Solar incentives are offered at the utility, county, state and federal level. These solar incentives can take various forms including solar tax credits, up front solar rebates, premium feed in tariffs (known as net metering) or solar production incentives.The eligibility and rules for each incentive program can vary greatly. This solar panel calculator allows you to enter your address and it will tell you what solar incentives will apply at your house and the value of these if you go solar.
Finding the right solar company for you:
There are many solar companies in Arizona offering a wide variety of brands and options. This consumer reviews website will show you the consumer ratings of each solar installer that services your area and will also show you what brands of solar panels. .
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