Arizona gets into the sun market

It’s about time that Arizona invests in solar technology given that they have plenty of raw materials to start with.

Nonprofit group Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is spending $4 million for five new solar investments and the establishment of their Solar Technology Institute (STI), which aims to catalyze solar technology breakthroughs and commercialization of products and services to boost growth in the state.

The investments include:

  • Concentrator Photovoltaics - Researchers at University of Arizona (UA) and Arizona State University (ASU) are collaborating on next generation low-cost solar reflectors that can be used in solar energy generating systems.

  • Nanostructured Films for Photovoltaics - Global Solar, General Plasma, Prism Solar, ASU and UA are teaming up to enhance the capabilities of thin film solar panels through innovative technology. This will significantly reduce the cost of electricity from solar panels. Other partners include Advalue, All Optronics, Aerospace Corporation and Nanovoltaix.

  • Photovoltaic Environmental Performance and Reliability - ASU and UA are working with Tucson Electric Power, and TUV-Rheinland, to expand the ASU Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory so it can conduct more rapid product certification and testing of solar products, and help identify and create better performing solar products. Other partners include Sandia National Laboratories, Reliasoft, Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Spire Solar and Solan AG.

  • Compressed Air Energy Storage – Southwest Solar Technologies, the U.S. Geological Survey, UA and ASU are developing compressed air solar storage technology for use when the Sun is not shining. Other partners include Simmons, Nanovoltaix, and Eusthatia.

  • AZ Smart - Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project, ASU and UA are partnering to create a system of smart grid management and to develop decision making software to help select future power generation station locations, storage sites and power lines throughout Arizona. Other partners include Viasol, Bright Source, Creatasoft and Tucson Electric Power.

I’m curious though what kind of incentives the Arizona government has for those who want to invest in solar cell (and materials) manufacturing and assembly in the state.

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