Some firms have been suspected of cheating to stay ahead. Solar City is among three targeted by the U.S. Treasury Department in an ongoing investigation into whether installation costs are inflated to get more money from the government. The 30 percent federal discount is based on installation cost, so the higher it is, the more money the federal government pays.

Lyndon Rive, co-founder and CEO of Solar City, denies any costs have been inflated, adding that his company installs systems for $4.50 to $5.50 a watt, which meets government guidelines.

Solar advocates note that the popularity of rooftop systems has continued in the past year — even as Arizona incentives shrink. Last year, the APS incentive dropped from $1 per watt of installed solar power to 10 cents per watt, or about $600 for a six-kilowatt system. Yet the demand stayed strong, which meant more solar systems were being installed overall.

This APS solar array near Cooper and Guadalupe roads provides enough electricity to power about 30 homes — for about six hours a day.
This APS solar array near Cooper and Guadalupe roads provides enough electricity to power about 30 homes — for about six hours a day.
Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter
Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter

It appears that Arizona utilities could ditch their direct, upfront payments to customers installing solar panels, and the solar companies would survive just fine, as long as they and, in turn, their costumers still received the 30 percent federal subsidy.

It sounds good, but there's a catch: The hidden, indirect subsidies that the solar industry hopes also will remain in place to help keep solar attractive to people. Industry representatives fought against one change recently made by the state Corporation Commission. Until late this year, solar users didn't have to pay the renewable-energy surcharge most everyone else has to pay. Now they do.

Solar customers and businesses still don't pay sales tax on equipment. Utilities say they don't pay fees charged to all other utility customers — for maintaining and building the likes of transmission lines and transformers, for programs that help low-income utility customers, for environmental cleanup, and for storage of nuclear waste. When solar customers generate more power than they use during a year, they're reimbursed for that power at the full retail rate for electricity paid by customers.

The deficits have to be made up somewhere and result in higher electricity costs for everyone, according to APS. Seeing solar become more popular, the utility's leaders are growing concerned about these "cross-subsidies," and they told the Corporation Commission in a December 6 report that "APS believes that a sustainable [rooftop] solar policy must include an equitable distribution of costs and benefits across all customers."

Another way to put it: Solar customers should start paying their fair share for the infrastructure and for everything else that goes along with providing power.


Rooftop solar still is just a neat experiment for businesses. The vast majority of firms — those in Phoenix included — haven't regarded the technology as ready for prime time.

For now, companies tout their token projects to customers who care about such things, while using electricity from additional energy sources at most of their buildings.

Fresh & Easy, a grocery chain of 177 stores in California, Nevada and Arizona, owned by British retailing giant Tesco, is one of the corporations that uses environmentalism as a marketing tool, its website touting that it works hard to help the planet. Solar has been part of Fresh & Easy's strategy for the past few years. In 2008, the company installed one of the world's largest rooftop solar plants on its California distribution center. Last year, it announced that 10 of its stores had solar panels. The project cost more than $13 million after rebates, according to company spokesman Brendon Wonnacott, with the expectation that the investment will pay for itself in 10 years.

Asked when the company plans to put panels on the rest of its stores, Wonnacott stated, "Well, we'll wait and see. That would be a very, very large investment."

Tesco announced this month it may close its Fresh & Easy stores in the United States because they're not making enough money.

Arizona State University, taking advantage of the 30 percent federal subsidy, a 10 percent state subsidy, and utility incentives, now boasts more than 10 megawatts of peak-time solar power (enough to power 2,500 average Valley homes), mostly at its sprawling Tempe campus. Various private solar businesses invested about $90 million in the projects, and ASU agreed to pay the solar firms a fixed rate over 20 years for power generated by the systems. The university says it expects this arrangement will save money — as long as typical utility costs increase by 40 percent over the 20 years. APS says it can't predict whether that will be the case.

Rooftop solar projects have one major advantage over utility-scale solar projects — they're built on land that's already developed. Some see the Southwest's Sonoran and Mohave deserts as ripe for paneling-over. But one person's wasteland is another's treasured ecosystem. In some cases, environmentalists have been forced to choose between developing desert lands and reducing reliance on fossil fuels. The Sierra Club, long a champion of desert preservation, gave its blessing last year to a solar-farm project on undeveloped federal land just west of 163rd Avenue and south of Pecos Road.

"We think it is critical that we transition to using renewable energy resources, with a major emphasis to reduce climate change," says Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon chapter. "That being said, we're not interested in seeing every inch of Arizona covered with solar modules. Every rooftop would be great."

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63 comments
harlotsghost
harlotsghost

The comments following this article pretty much shows Solar is still a reach or the facility built in Mesa woud still be in operation.  It was out of business before it started.  The next utility investigation should be into how Arizona electric utilities are hiding derivative losses (their personal poker game) that they now want to pass-on to their customers because it was supposed to make energy cheaper by reducing the cost of their generation mix.  How did that work out?  Or hope for some legislation that will erase the accounts and forgive mark-to-market.

eichermc
eichermc

I read your article with interest, but you missed a way to use solar power to generate electricity without any pollution, Hydrogen.  A solar farm is built which uses its power to "crack" water into hydrogen and oxygen.  The oxygen is released and the hydrogen is stored on site.  Hydrogen is flammable, so it would need stored below ground (under the solar farm) and guarded.  This hydrogen would be burned by gas turbines on site to produce electricity and water, the water exhaust can be "cracked" again to restart the pollution free cycle.  The only input is free solar power.  The solar farm would be sized to produce and store enough hydrogen during "good" days to allow the plant to operate at night and in poor weather.  You now have free power running through the existing grid made with conventional technology and no pollution!  What a deal.

vigvamvoo
vigvamvoo

Well now that jsut makes a ll kinds of crazy sense dude.

www.ItsAnon.tk

EmilPulsifer
EmilPulsifer

I'm very disappointed that, having taken several days to compose a thoughtful and insightful reply to Mr. Stern's article, the software here refuses to accept it.  I have made sure that it is within the maximum word limit (I broke it down into two parts) and when I hit "Post comment" the spinning dots icon spins forever but never finishes.   The comment is never posted and there is no error message given.  I sent Mr. Stern a copy and asked him to assist but have received no reply from him.  Perhaps there is some imbedded code but if so I did not add it and do not know how to remove it.  I have tried changing to plaintext from rich text in the composition window but cannot get the comment or any significant fraction of it to post, despite having spent two days now in the attempt.

eichler1
eichler1

What a ridiculous hatched job. I hope no one actually believes this collection of fossil fuel industry talking points. You take even a half of the money this country's taxpayers spend subsidizing the fossil fuel -- including the money dumped into on never-ending warfare to secure access to fossil fuel (in the name of subduing "terrorists") -- and spend it on solar, and solar panels would be on every roof for free, contributing significantly to energy savings and use. What this author fails to take into account is the social costs of the use of fossil fuels, the 10s if not 100s of thousands who suffer or die from respiratory diseases each year because of air pollution, or the ongoing degradation of our lands and oceans from drilling and transporting oil. Industry, of course, profits by pushing such costs onto society and getting hacks like this author to ignore such costs.

bobsaccount
bobsaccount

... until one day a great hailstorm swept across the desert...

laurenkuby
laurenkuby

I invite the author and all you readers to attend a special event on January 24th at the AZ Science Center:

The Future of Energy: Brown, Clean, or In-Between 
http://sustainability.asu.edu/events/rsvp/future-of-energyhttp://sustainability.asu.edu/events/rsvp/future-of-energy

5 to 6pm: members of the AZ Energy Consortium will showcase their sustainable solutions at a Happy Hour reception

6 to 7:30pm: ASU President Michael Crow will introduce American Public Media's Sustainability Desk Reporter Eve Troeh (who moderates), Director of Carbon Nation, Peter Byck, SoS Professor, former Prez of Shell Oil John Hofmiester, and Stanford energy scientist Mark Jacobson.

7:30 to 8:15: Catered Reception

YOU MUST RSVP!

918zzzthor
918zzzthor

I have to disagree with the statement that there is only 1 company left from the '80s solar era. When I replaced my solar hot water system installed in 1984, I found a plumbing company that was around in 1986 doing solar. Yes, surviving was difficult but he made it.

The other reason that solar has been so expensive to install is the outrageous prices these companies have assigned to these systems. It is called "greed". They charge as much as possible so when the rebates disappear....again many of these solar companies disappear...never to be heard from again. 

desertbird
desertbird

It is a pity that the author did little to no research for parts of this article. The solar power plant in Gila Bend  does have storage capacity. It stores thermal energy using molten salts. It will still be able to operate at night and cloudy days. Oh, and it uses Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology, which does not use photovoltaic cells. It uses parabolic mirror troughs instead. This technology has been around for a while, pity that the author did not bother looking it up. It is even described on the APS site:

 http://www.aps.com/main/green/Solana/Technology.html

 

donnagratehouse
donnagratehouse

"Even with all the gnashing of teeth over climate change..." - sounds like something a denier would say. Stern should tell us if he accepts the science of climate change or not. 

DonnaDiva
DonnaDiva

@marcia4arizona He has really bought the anti-solar propaganda.

curtshannon
curtshannon

Mr. Stern is either extremely ignorant or highly biased against solar
energy--perhaps both.  The comment about large scale solar farms being
less expensive than small rooftop installations conveniently ignored the
difficulty with permitting, the cost, and the significant power losses
associated with transmission which accompany utility scale solar
plants.  It almost sounded as if a utility representative wrote this
part of the article, since utilities do not favor a distributed
generation model that causes them to lose their control over power
production.


The comments on fracking and natural gas
production were similarly misleading.  Looking only at current prices
for natural gas is a mistake--and solar energy is a perfect hedge
against future price increases of any fuel source.  Once a solar
installation is paid for the energy is truly free for the 20 to 25 year
lifetime of the project.  And ignoring for the moment the environmental
problems with extraction, the prices of natural gas, coal and other fuel
sources will most certainly increase in the future.  If we are truly
interested in finding power solutions for the future we must go where
the power is.  Our solar resource dwarfs all other power sources
combined.  The energy contained in all known petroleum reserves on earth
hits the earth every 15 hours in the form of solar energy.

ddoyle525
ddoyle525

Great article. The truth hurts - solar energy can't generate power at night and batteries are NOT a green solution. Until solar can exist without taxpayer subsidies more research is needed to optimize solar and make it more affordable. I actually like the de-centralized approach. Why waste energy delivering it over costly power lines?

tg7211
tg7211

My system covered all my power needs and provided enough extra power to set me up for operating an electric car about 10,000 miles a year. Mr. Stern doesn't have all of his facts straight and citing anonymous experts as sources is high school grade research, and amateurish at best.

Roof top solar makes sense for everyone who owns their home, and leasing a system makes one affordable for anyone with a decent credit score who pays an electric bill. I worked on a nuclear power plant and am a fan of generating energy by smashing atoms, however I would not want to see one near my children's school. Which is exactly where we are seeing quite a few solar panels being installed, over the playground at our children's schools.

His argument regarding grid parity is also lame as the cost of a new coal or natural gas fired plant does not take into account the increase to our health care costs caused by all of breathing the crap that flows from the smoke stacks. Nor does it take into account the socialized costs of extraction practices, including the subsidies provided to the extraction companies.

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

it seems that there are some mistakes made in this article as well. The fact that APS didn't store any energy. Most people don't use much power during the day (just stuff that runs all the time, IE freezers, fridges, climate control, etc.. ) while they are at work. By collecting solar power during the day it would be a great way to store this energy in batteries. Also it could be sold back to the electric company, something I have been led to believe APS doesn't do. In other states people do this and have zero electric bills AND they make lots of money. (of course you have to remember THAT they did have to pay for installation, and it's not according to APS one should do themselves, so they gouge you even more)

AZ should have a requirement that EVERY new home has solar panels on it built in as part of the cost. Furthermore if we were serious it would require every new lone applicant to put them on as well. Yes maybe I am a little hardcore, but I think it would help with our energy independence. BTW if we reduced the amounts of fuels burnt to create electricity we could reduce all kinds of negative things. No offense Ray but I think you need to understand basically how solar power works before you bash it so much. 

D.P.Johnson
D.P.Johnson

This article is embarrassingly bad for the New Times because it contains some critical mistakes based on flawed information, terrible analysis, and lazy reporting.

First, let's analyze the unsubsidized financial benefits of solar PV.  I have a 5.0 kW PV system which cost $25,000 in 2010.  I generated 9,438 kWh last year and sold it to SRP at a rate of $0.11/kWh (average annual rate on my Residential Basic Plan).  Based on those facts, I made $1,038 for an annual return of 4.15% without any subsidies.  There were few (if any) safe investments which made that rate of return last year.  Savings accounts were at 0.12% and long term government bonds were only in the 3% range.  My annual return on investment is highly likely to increase as the price of electricity increases over the 20 year life of the system.   Hank Peck, the Tucson financial analyst, should start recommending that all of his clients invest in solar PV based on that rate of return on investment alone.

But, wait, it gets better!

Second, let's analyze my actual, subsidized financial benefits of solar PV.  Starting with the 5.0 kW system, SRP paid me $2.70/W ($13,500 total) in 2010 for the lifetime rights to use the carbon dioxide reductions the system creates to offset the environmental impact of their other power generation activities.  That lowered my initial cost to $11,500.  I received a Federal tax credit of 30% ($3,450) on that amount which lower my expenditure to $8,050.  Then, I took a $1,000 State tax credit to lower my out-of-pocket cost for the entire system to $7,050.  When we analyze my actual annual return on investment, I'm making 14.72%  ($1,038 / $7,050).  There is not a safe investment (guaranteed for the next 20 years) which I know of that can even come close to that.  If you know of one, I'd love to hear about it.

SOLAR PV WAS THE BEST INVESTMENT I EVER MADE.

Third, for those who like to analyze payback times, I get my initial investment back in 6.8 years.  After that, everything I generate is pure profit for the next 13.2 years.  There is no maintenance on the system and the components are warrantied.

Fourth, I pay for line maintenance and other SRP infrastructure costs just like everyone else does in my monthly service charge of $17.00 plus tax.  Solar PV system owners do not get a free ride on those costs as the author implies.  In fact, that is my only cost each month because I currently generate more electricity than I use but I still have to pay the monthly service charge. 

Fifth, my system generates its largest amounts of power in June, July and August when the demand  in Phoenix is at its highest.  I am actually doing SRP a huge favor selling them power at $0.1283/kWh during that time period because they may pay higher rates to produce or buy that power from other sources.  For those of you on EZ-3 time-of-use plans, you will pay $0.3499/kWh for peak power in July and August.  SRP buys it from me at $0.1283/kWh during that time frame.  This means that hypothetically they make $0.2216/kWh (the difference) on every kWh they buy from me and sell to you.  I would prefer to sell my kWh on an open market to capture that profit myself, but I understand that SRP provides me with a reliable service and that I do not have the leverage as a micro-producer to negotiate better terms for myself.  

Finally, no power production system operates 24/7/365.  The idea that solar electricity is inherently flawed because it can't generate power all of the time (i.e., at night) is an absurd assertion.  Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant has 3 generators.  At any given time, one of those three is off line for regularly schedule refueling and maintenance.  Using the author's irrational thinking, he would have to argue that the full nuclear power from that facility is not available 33% of the time.  That's not how electrical systems are designed and operated.  Palo Verde was designed with this down time in mind.  Solar PV systems need to be considered as part of the same electrical ecosystem that is designed and operated with the knowledge that certain power sources will not be available at certain times.  That's it the way these systems have always been designed.

If you have never considered solar PV before, I strongly recommend it.  You'll be making money and saving the planet at the same time.  It doesn't get any better that that.








fairymagic13
fairymagic13

It's only hard when you skew the reporting towards that conclusion.
For example, the title is deceiving.  Solar Power is THE MOST used
energy source on the Planet right now.  We grow all of our plants using
it.  Could you imagine the cost of growing all the plants on the Earth
if we were to generate the electricity to run electric lights?  Yet we
don't hear that cost savings in the calculations of the reporter.  How
about the light we use to operate our lives under - what's the
replacement cost for that using fossil fuels?  It's the way we think
about it - economics is a sad science because it only counts what we buy
and sell, not what we have or will have in the future.  But this
reporter doesn't even say that's what he's doing - skewing the
information to favor carbon based fuels and nuclear power.  But there is
as clear as the nose on your face.  Each individual has the
ability to build a solar cooker for less than $15.00 in material costs
which will substitute for all the energy needed to cook their food and
pasteurize their water:

http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Water_pasteurization

The report doesn't talk about that because it doesn't fit into his image
he's trying to make you see - not the world as it is.  This reporter has
done this countless times when he feels that he doesn't like something -
he throws his own bias into it.   For less than $500.00 one can
build a simple solar water heater or solar trombe wall which will heat
your home and your water.  But he doesn't want to talk about that.

Nor does he want to talk about a solar trombe wall or in fact all the energy SAVED due to conservation legislation passed since 1970 or the massive savings of energy which could result in further building code improvements regarding energy efficiency and passive solar which could be implemented within the next 2 years!  He wants to slam one type of solar energy production so the other forms, passive and active are not pursued to their fullest extent.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI805B2a6LM

azpsycho1
azpsycho1

Yeah not having batteries to store the power was a genius move. I know several homeowners in Tucson who sell their excess energy back to the power companies...this article is garbage. 

KateElliottSFF
KateElliottSFF

@sesmithwrites Photovoltaics on roofs are spreading steadily here in HI, but it is an expensive initial outlay (although rebates kick in)

cindypon
cindypon

@sesmithwrites we've considered but yes, it is a serious $ up front investment that majority of americans cannot afford. =(

dwdickersonjr
dwdickersonjr

This article is really hard on solar, but much of it is true. Sounds like Arizona didn't do their homework before setting up their solar projects. Yes, solar is not cheap. I've looked into going solar, and there is just no way for most of the energy needs of a family home. I put a 500w panel on my tool shed, and it provides lights for my shed and yard. Since there is no electricity run to the shed, solar was easy. BUT...can't run power tools and such. A solar plant that would run my home would run about $30k for a minimal system. But remember, your solar power requires batteries to be used at any time other than bright daylight. So I calculated what I would need to have enough power to go 1 week with cloudy days and little sun. O.M.F.G... Besides the cost of the batteries, I'll need a building larger than my home (1300 sq. ft.) to house the batteries and invertors and such. Well, maybe I'll go solar when I win the lottery. In the meantime, using DC power for lighting my shed is working great, and I'm going to do something similar for outside lighting for my home. But I simply cannot replace the power company. Yet.

jc.wallace
jc.wallace

This author's time would be better spent writing about what will happen to Phoenix and the rest of Arizona when the Colorado River dries up.   The source of your electricity will seem meaningless when you have no water.   You will get a preview in the summer of 2013.


http://tinyurl.com/4tnn8s9

ejcraft2003
ejcraft2003

This is an ignorant article written by someone who knows nothing about solar. Arizona needs to give government money to homeowners instead if building pointless solar farms that cost a fraction only so they can pocket the rest of he government money. Arizona is the problem, not solar power. 

elizabethmarianaranj
elizabethmarianaranj

I guess we were pretty naive, thinking our rooftop system would make much of a difference. It looks like our best chance of having any impact is making better choices to reduce our energy usage. Thanks for this in-depth look at the solar industry.

Mikey1969
Mikey1969

The real answer to this is a truly balanced power system. Solar for sunny days, wind for windy times, geothermal where it is accessible, same with tidal, and no matter what people want to hear-nuclear. Nuke power is not as "dirty" as people think. We have the paranoia of the Cold War and the 'scare movies' fromt he 40's sci-fi into the modern era to thank for that. Yes, there CAN be accidents, but there are also dam breaks. The point is that if we have a balanced grid, we can eliminate stuff like coal completely, and maybe even free up some of our rivers, using dams for drinking water purposes only.


If we balance it out with the previously mentioned items, that would reduce the need for nuke plants would also be reduced.

bgray59
bgray59

My home is 100% solar and wind powered. Why because it makes economic sense.  It would have cost me 1/2 million to connect to the grid.

Home installations with batteries do not make sense in the valley.  I ran the numbers and found that my kids savings account had a better return on investment.  

It would be possible if the Corporation Commission would force the power companies to purchase surplus power at a reasonable whole sale price rather than the artificially low prices which are currently in effect. They should eliminate the spurious fees which they apply to residential tie ins.

The main problem, like electric cars, is the storage system.  We currently do not have electrical storage systems which can power us through the night.  

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

@harlotsghostWhere is Stern on this investigation?  This is where the rubber meets the road Ray, come on!

cr0sh
cr0sh

@eichermc Actually, the best way to generate electricity from solar is by using the sun's heat; it's old and proven technology. Look into the solar experiments (and actual generating plants) built outside Barstow, California in the Mohave desert. That is what should be built; it's about as close to a baseline system from solar as you can get. With the proper working fluid in the heat exchange system, it will run through the night and on cloudy days. Other than that, it's more or less basic steam turbine electricity generation technology, something well known and understood for many decades now.

raystern
raystern

@918zzzthor Hi. The story doesn't say there was only one company from the 80s solar era. It says that out of a list of Valley solar companies published by the state in 1984, I could only find one that was still in business. That was J&R. Thanks. 

isaac.anthony
isaac.anthony

@desertbird This whole article seems like a half-hearted attempt to discredit solar power.  Note that there is no discussion about the free rides taxpayers have been giving to gas and oil companies who generate billions of dollars in profit yearly.  How long have those industries been around for again?

raystern
raystern

@curtshannon Nope -- neither ignorant nor biased against solar power. Just interested in getting the real story.

A utility rep didn't write this article, Curt. But I must say that your letter reads as if it was written by the former owner of a renewable energy consulting business. Are you same the Curt Shannon of Arizona who owned Conation Energy?

Large scale solar farms are, in fact, less expensive than similarly sized rooftop projects, so what's your point? I agree that looking only at current prices of natural gas could be a mistake, which is why my story didn't do that. The price of natural gas and NG power stations could go up or down in the future, obviously

eichler1
eichler1

@ddoyle525 All energy is subsidized. Fossil fuels are heavily subsidized, plus taxpayers spend billions if not trillions more on permanent warfare the main purpose of which is to secure access to more fossil fuels (war on "terrorists" - hah!). A principal difference is that the subsidies toward fossil fuel pays for more pollution, more destruction of public lands, more destruction of the oceans' viability. Very short-sighted. Solar, in contrast, is clean energy. That said, your position is not unique -- 19th century thinking is very popular these days among Americans.

raystern
raystern

@ptcgaz FYI -- The article states that APS doesn't "store" the electricity it generates from the PV plants it built, and you imply here that is not correct. It is correct. Ray

fairymagic13
fairymagic13

@D.P.Johnson Thank you - I am at a loss as to why Ray Stern keeps writing these obviously error ridden articles about renewable energy.  I'm guessing he's one of those anti-hippies that can't accept anything with a hint of patchouli about it.


cr0sh
cr0sh

@fairymagic13 I built a solar cooking using mostly trash; mainly cardboard, newspaper, and glass from a dumpster. About my "investment" was some duct tape and glue to hold it together. I used a reflector shade from my car to reflect extra sun into it. Managed to make beans, rice, and cornbread in it.

dwdickersonjr
dwdickersonjr

@jc.wallace Heh. This too. Solar power won't do any good if everyone is dead from thirst.


fairymagic13
fairymagic13

@Mikey1969 The amount of energy needed to mine, process and transport the fuel for nuclear power is enormous and is NEVER accounted for in the minds of the proponents of this type of energy.  That said, the amount of energy needed to STORE the spent fuel for over 10000 years, dwarfs that of the energy produced during a plant's 40 year life span.  Nuclear energy is an EVIL power source and should be discontinued immediately.

Critical
Critical

@bgray59 QUOTE:Home installations with batteries do not make sense in the valley.  I ran the numbers and found that my kids savings account had a better return on investment. /QUOTE

You either calculated it wrong or don't have the know how or know where to acquire the materials cheap enough, because its working over here great and will for then next 20 years before panels deteriorate and 40-50 before the batteries need replaced!  Off the grid and homeowner installed!

DannySchmidgall
DannySchmidgall

@raystern @curtshannon  I know I'm over a year late to the conversation, but I do feel like I need to give my 2 cents. I made it less than halfway through this article. This was not even close to real journalism, the jobs at the solar industry were evident from the first page. If I want biased information, I already know where to look

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

@raystern @ptcgaz Why would APS store it? Do you really think APS is looking forward to solar energy?  Solar is here to stay and will continue to get better. The fact that SRP and APS isn't all exited about it should tell you something.  We are behind on this. Check what Germany has done. 

Helios1
Helios1

@fairymagic13 the reason is simple: those monopolies in power want to maintain the status quo and will hire people to generate propaganda that fits their needs, the carbon club is a trillion $ business, they will not give up without a fight. The Arizona corporation commission is now owned by the carbon club and they can hardly wait to derail solar in Arizona.This is just the start. Buy solar and buy an electric car, change the game.

donnagratehouse
donnagratehouse

@fairymagic13 Yep. I also think there's a lot of anxious masculinity underlying it. Fossil fuels and nuclear are manly while renewables are feminized and remind them of their nagging mothers. 

bgray59
bgray59

@Critical @bgray59 Please send me the brand of batteries which will last 40 to 50 years.  The best I have seen are an older style lead acid glass battery which lasted 20 years.  The problem is they are delicate and not good for use except in a carefully controlled environment.

The system I evaluated was a grid tied no battery system.  Interest rate on the money was 9%.  the output was from the savings of electric during daylight hours.  This data was taken from our electric usage which we had recorded over a three year period.  The fees charged by the utility, the special switching gear required by the utility but not included in the installation.  The switching gear had to be purchased from and installed by the Utility.  I amortized the whole thing using projected electric price increases.  Had the data analysed by an actuary I Know and he felt my estimates were overly optimistic. 

dwdickersonjr
dwdickersonjr

@ExpertShot @dwdickersonjr If I'm brain dead, thankfully I am blissfully unaware of it... At any rate, I do know of solar distillers. But I never saw one that could supply a town or city. If such exist, wonderful.

 
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