Ariz. is second largest solar market in U.S. - Tucson News Now

Ariz. is second largest solar market in U.S.

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Arizona is ranked second nationally in solar installation.

In the last year, Arizona installed more utility-scale solar technology than any other state, according to the 2012 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from the Solar Energy Industries Association.

 "One thing is for sure: Arizona has earned its title as our nation's ‘Solar Capital,'" Gov. Jan Brewer said. "Thanks to our pro-business policies, year-round sunshine and highly-trained workforce, Arizona continues to climb as a national and global leader in solar manufacturing and technology. Today's report is cause for celebration."

According to the annual SEIA report, Arizona grew in photovoltaic system installations from 273 megawatts worth of power installed in 2011 to 710 megawatts in 2012. Arizona bumped New Jersey  to the number three slot, and California continues to lead in solar production.

Solar installation rose by 76 percent across the nation in the last year. The United States has more than 300,000 operational PV systems, and the SEIA forecasts growth in 2013. Also, the U.S. installed 11 percent of all global solar systems in 2012, which is the country's highest market share in at least 15 years.

Currently, Arizona is working on three huge utility-scale projects. Agua Caliente Solar, near Yuma, generates 250 megawatts. When completed in 2014, it will be the largest solar photovoltaic project in the world at 290 megawatts.

The Mesquite Solar PV complex, west of Phoenix, will generate 150 megawatts and may reach 700 megawatts.

Lastly, Solana Generating Station near Gila Bend is expected to be completed in 2013. The 280-megawatt project will be one of the world's largest concentrating solar power systems.

To view the full SEIA report, visit: www.seia.org/research-resources/us-solar-market-insight-2012-year-review.

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