Articles from Arizona
Southern Arizona’s only wind-energy farm is under a federal criminal investigation because its turbines killed an endangered bat and a federally protected golden eagle, law enforcement officials say. ...if the company had chosen to seek permits in advance that would have allowed it to kill a certain number of the protected species.
The state’s second-largest utility now offers an EarthWise Energy program. Customers pay 1 cent more for each kilowatt-hour of electricity they use, and can choose to pay that premium on either half or all of their energy. ...RECs can’t be double-counted toward a customer account and toward the SRP goal.
Arizona utility regulators voted Tuesday to end the system of net metering, where homeowners with solar panels get retail credits for power they send to the grid, and instead reduce the amount utilities pay homeowners for rooftop solar power.
State utility regulator Andy Tobin is proposing to effectively reduce state renewable-energy rules by counting nuclear energy as a renewable power source to compete with solar and wind. Environmental advocates, even those who support nuclear energy, generally don't consider nuclear-power plants as renewable energy.
Chairman Little called running two high voltage power lines through the San Pedro Valley a mistake of the first order. “I am extremely disappointed in the outcome of this decision and believe there were better alternative routes with significantly less environmental impacts that unfortunately were not approved” when the project went through its federal environmental review, Little said. “I am truly saddened that one of the crown jewels of Arizona’s unspoiled wilderness will be irreparably harmed by this decision.”
An outpouring of passion against the proposed 515-mile SunZia power line project greeted the Arizona Corporation Commission Tuesday, with about 25 speakers arguing that it was environmentally destructive and economically unjustified.
A consortium says it wants to bring renewable wind and solar energy to Arizona cities by building two power lines from New Mexico. But it’s fighting hard against being required to guarantee it will put renewables on the line.
The Arizona Corporation Commission will consider approving a formal Certificate of Environmental Compatibility for the proposed SunZia power line at its Feb. 2 meeting.
“People have labeled us against green energy,” Hamby said. “That is so far from the truth, it is laughable. ...but we don`t feel that it should be tested here within 300 feet of homes.”
Arizona utilities won't be able to meet summer demand for electricity if an incoming federal air quality regulation on power plants is adopted as it's been proposed, officials said at a Thursday state Legislature field hearing held in Yuma.
But since the sun doesn’t shine all the time, the plant uses natural gas to keep the water hot. And, apparently, there hasn’t been enough sun to do that. Bright Source Energy, the company operating the plant, is petitioning the California government, requesting permission to burn more natural gas
The tower will be as wide as four football fields at its base and would be the second-tallest structure in the world. It would sit directly across the border with Mexico and cover 100 acres of desert.
Dorian Bishopp blames the solar panels on his roof for costing him almost 10 percent off the value of the home he sold in March. That’s because instead of owning them he leased the panels from SunPower Corp. (SPWR), requiring the new owner of the house to assume a contract with almost 19 years remaining.
“Migrants and various raptors could be affected, but my biggest concern is for the pair of golden eagles that nest in the Winchester Mountains” near the wind-farm site, Hansen said. “They have a very large range they cover for their territory — dozens of square miles or more.”
“The distributed rooftop solar industry has just been pushing for so long, ‘There’s no cost shift, there’s no cost shift, there’s no cost shift,’ and I think increasingly you’re seeing people both in California and Arizona and in other places say, ‘No, this is a real issue and we’ve got to deal with it,’ ” said Jeff Guldner, senior vice president for customers and regulation of Arizona Public Service. “If we don’t do something to address it you’re going to have the system collapse.”
The Arizona Corporation Commission's expected vote will be watched closely by utility and solar players far beyond the Grand Canyon State. That's because the two industries are increasingly at odds over a policy known as net metering ...he policy helps reduce the cost of going solar for homeowners. But utilities say it shoulders citizens who don't have solar panels with an unfair share of the cost to maintain the electric grid.
Solana is not the first renewable energy plant with storage; several have added banks of electric batteries. But battery storage is so expensive that these have been used mostly to smooth the output of the plant, not to store huge amounts overnight. Batteries are expensive and have a limited lifetime. They are more economical in a car, where they help electricity substitute for something more expensive, like gasoline. But for utilities, they are nowhere near cheap enough to justify using them to avoid buying high-priced, late-afternoon electricity.
All Audubon members want is to ensure, through an added condition to the permit, that Torch Renewable Energy, LLC, work closely with Arizona Game and Fish (AZGF) on continuing studies of the protected bald and golden eagles, avian and bat populations, and other possible wildlife and environmental impacts, Supplee said.
In a March 25 letter to the County Planing and Zoning Commission, the Arizona Department of Game and Fish (AZGF) "states specific concerns and recommendations for birds, bats, and other wildlife in connection with the Red Horse 2 wind energy project, including a recommendation of two years of data collection as part of the site evaluation and pre-construction monitoring," he said.
According to the project's final EIS, the geographic limits of the Grand Canyon condor population as determined by FWS overlap the project's proposed footprint. Condor can fly up to 160 miles a day in searching for food, and the Grand Canyon "experimental" population is well within that range of the Mohave County Wind Farm.