Appendix C

 

Arizona Solar Energy Industries Associations

 

 

The Arizona Solar Energy Industries Associations (ARISEIA) supports the solar portfolio in the restructuring rules approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission. We feel that any changes made to the portfolio should be meant to simply fine tune the document and that it's goals should not be reduced or delayed. Minor changes, those that would facilitate the orderly development of the industry, yet not dilute the Portfolio, should be considered.

 

We feel that the benefits to the state of Arizona far will far outweigh the small cost to the consumer. The state will receive a rapid return on their investment through cleaner air and economic development. The solar industry will be advanced through the greater use of technologies, important to our future, that could be left undeveloped in the drive for competition. It will allow movement towards a 21> century technology in financial partnership with the electric utility industry.

 

This Solar Portfolio Standard will bridge the gap between the bottom line realities of a competitive business during a period of history where there is an excess energy supply and a long-termed to develop alternative resources. Solar technologies are the obvious choice for alternative energy in this state where solar insolation is our greatest natural resource. However, an important solar technology has been excluded from this document: solar thermal water heating. While solar thermal does not produce electricity, it does capture energy as a renewable resource, something that differentiates it from energy efficient technologies. This energy is quantifiable in the form of BTU's, which can easily measured and converted to an kilowatt hours. The advantages of solar as a clean technology are achieved with solar thermal water heating and can be done directly at residential customers homes. Please consider the following information regarding the inclusion of solar thermal water heating in the Solar Portfolio Standard:

 

Cost to the Providers and Public

 

Not only would the addition of solar thermal water heating provide a less expensive means of reaching a portion of the solar portfolio standard, but it will be a technology that can provide business opportunities to providers. A Business Opportunity Prospectus for Utilities in Solar Water Heating, prepared by the Energy Alliance Group for the Utility Solar Water Heating Initiative (US H20) demonstrates how utilities can turn what was once thought of as a loss of electric sales into increased revenues.

 

Depending on the type of systems used, solar water heating systems can produce energy at the equivalent rate of under four cents per kWh. Technology advances and industry standards that have been developed and implemented in Arizona will insure the quality of systems installed.

 

Simple rules and guidelines for the inclusion of solar water heating can be easily developed. The output of thermal systems can be easily measured through the installation of a BTU meter.

 

Economic Development

 

Solar thermal offers additional economic benefits to Arizona. Just as with PV, the solar thermal industry has the potential to bring jobs to Arizona. There were once many companies manufacturing solar water heating products in the state. These companies shipped solar products throughout Western United States and made use of another of Arizona's natural resources, copper. The jobs that a solar thermal industry creates extend to all sectors of the economy. Skilled and unskilled jobs are created in manufacturing, as well as in service and installation. With the existing infrastructure in place, this technology is ready for immediate expansion.

 

Air Quality

 

The use of solar thermal water heating systems assist in Arizona's efforts to improve air quality. According the Arizona Public Service 's Consumers Guide to Solar water Heating, a solar water heating system that provides 55% of a 70 gallon per day load at 120 degrees will eliminate 800 pounds of pollution when replacing an electric water heater in the Phoenix area. When replacing a gas water heater, 1200 pounds of pollution are displaced at the source, producing results directly over our neighborhoods. Most DHW systems that are on the market today will provide a family with significantly more that a 55% solar fraction resulting is greater air quality benefits that the above statistics.

 

The numbers for other Arizona cities are even more attractive. Prescott tops the list with a 3500/1500 pounds (electric/natural gas) per system savings in pollution, followed by Flagstaff at 300/1400 pounds and Tucson with 2600/1100 pounds.

 

Commercial solar heating systems for heating larger volumes of water can be economically competitive and provide additional business opportunities for utilities. These large scale systems would produce additional air quality benefits.

 

Less Demand on the Systems Benefit Charge

 

Inclusion of solar thermal water heating will reduce the need for some programs under the systems benefit charge. Some who are involved in the restructuring process will be seeking higher levels of funding for solar technologies, environmental and low income programs to be included in the systems benefit charge. The inclusion of solar DHW, in the Portfolio, will eliminate the need for developing more traditional utility programs for DHW. This will allow the market to develop without funding under the SBC.

 

Conclusion

 

Inclusion of solar water heating in the Solar Portfolio Standard, by simply adding the phrase, "or electricity displaced by solar thermal energy technologies" will provide utilities a low-cost option to fulfill a portion of the requirement of the standard If the goal of the standard is to bring solar technologies costs down to more marketable levels and to provide the environmental and economic benefits that solar has to offer, all solar technologies should have equal footing in the standard. Inclusion will provide a site based method of bringing restructuring to residential and the small commercial customers. The solar industry will benefit by the resulting economies of scale and the competition for improved and cost effective products. This will serve the state of Arizona well in the coming century.

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