The Arizona Energy Consortium (AEC), a committee of the Arizona Technology Council, has updated the Arizona Solar Strategic Plan.
Created through the AEC in November 2011 as a product of the Arizona Solar Leadership Conference, the document tracks the implementation of a series of recommended actions for the long-term growth of the state's solar market. The plan canÂ be viewed here.
‘If Arizona is to own this industry, it must capitalize on its competitive advantage – the sun,’ says Michelle De Blasi, a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig LLP and co-chair of the AEC. ‘This will only occur if there is collaboration across the finance and economic development, industry and infrastructure, and policy and regulatory sectors.’
The recently updated plan includes a discussion on the status of originally outlined initiatives, as well as a series of revised recommendations for specific initiatives.
For instance, the Governor's Solar Energy Task Force has provided a list of recommended actions for approval by Arizona's governor for streamlining the permitting process for distributed generation projects that could be implemented to competitively position the sate as the nation's ‘friendliest’ regulatory landscape for siting distributed-generation solar energy projects.
Additionally, the AEC's Project Development and Energy Infrastructure subcommittee is developing an accelerated permitting process for utility-scale projects through a program referred to as ‘Project of State Significance.’ The Town of Gila Bend has created a Solar Field Overlay Zone to promote sustainable energy development, as well as job creation and growth on a regional basis.