Energy

Solar Advocates Win One in Arizona

| Sat Jul. 11, 2009 12:37 AM EDT

In a major victory for solar advocates in the state, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today signed SB 1403 into law.

The bill extends tax credits and other incentives to manufactures of renewable energy equipment (mainly solar) if they locate in Arizona and meet other criteria.

Proponents of the legislation, which passed the AZ Senate on June 15th and the House June 26th, have claimed that such a bill was a missing "third leg" on a stool that would support Arizona's bid to be the "solar capital" of the nation.

(The other two legs are a large market for consuming solar electricity and enough incoming solar radiation to produce large quantities of power.)

The bill was sponsored by Senator Barbara Leff (R-Paradise Valley) and Representative Michele Reagan (R-Scottsdale).

Several solar manufacturers have been watching the bill's progress since it was introduced in March.

"We are happy to be one of the first companies to claim a home there," Drew Zogby, president and CEO of Alpha Technologies Inc., told the Arizona Republic after the bill was sent from the legislature to the Governor's office. Even without Brewer's signature, Zogby seemed confident that the legislation would become law.

According to the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), a main supporter of the bill, several businesses were waiting for the incentives package to become law before they, too, would announce plans for relocating to Arizona.

In a statement released last week, the GPEC said it would be meeting with officials from 25 major solar companies at the Intersolar North American conference in San Francisco July 14-16.

According to Barry Broome, president of GPEC, “Major players in the global solar industry will be at this conference...There just isn’t a better venue to show these companies what Arizona can offer this industry and to promote the Quality Jobs Through Renewable Industries bill."

Tonight, GPEC tweeted this message, "Thanks to Gov, Sen Leff, AZ legislators & GPEC stakeholders for the will & leadership to improve AZ's economy!"

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