Arizona Energy Consortium Outlines Progress and Recommended Actions in Updated Arizona Solar Strategic Plan

Living document tracks the implementation of a series of recommended actions for specific and achievable initiatives that allow the solar industry to realize its full potential

Jun 13, 2012, 11:30 ET from Arizona Technology Council

PHOENIX, June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arizona Energy Consortium (AEC), a committee of the Arizona Technology Council and the state's only broad-based energy sector organization, today announced the update of 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 industry. The plan may be viewed on the AEC's website at


"Over the past year Arizona's solar industry has identified a key factor that is needed for industry growth - the collaboration of efforts between solar energy participants," said Michelle De Blasi, a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP and co-chair of AEC.  "If Arizona is to own this industry, it must capitalize on its competitive advantage - the sun.  This will only occur if there is collaboration across the finance and economic development, industry and infrastructure, and policy and regulatory sectors.  I am pleased to see that real progress is being made."

The importance to the business community is also key, as recognized by Christopher Davey, Executive Director of EnviroMission and co-chair of the AEC.  "As the developer of a major utility scale solar project in Arizona, EnviroMission's La Paz Solar Tower, it is essential to have policies and procedures in place that support the ability to do business in this state.  With the efforts of the AEC, Arizona is competitively positioning itself as the place to develop solar projects."

The recently updated Arizona Solar Strategic Plan includes a discussion on the status of originally outlined initiatives, as well as a series of revised recommendations for specific initiatives. A few examples of the impressive progress being tracked include:

  • The Governor's Solar Task Force has provided a list of recommended actions for approval by the Governor for streamlining the permitting process for distributed generation projects that could be implemented to competitively position Arizona as the nation's "friendliest" regulatory landscape for siting distributed generation solar energy projects.
  • 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.

"We have every intention to be the nation's leader in solar production with an eye toward being an export leader as well," said Leisa Brug, Energy Policy Advisor to Governor Jan Brewer.  "With our abundant sunshine, renewable-friendly tax structure and high skilled workforce, it's no surprise the solar industry is booming in Arizona."

"The plan's initiatives will have the common outcome of rewards such as increased job creation and higher-waged salaries for the state's solar workforce," said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.

About the Arizona Energy Consortium

As a vital committee and credible member-driven voice for Arizona's energy industry and associated ecosystem under the Arizona Technology Council, the Arizona Energy Consortium promotes and seeks opportunities to collaborate and provide meaningful input within the industry on the growth and retention of energy companies in the state.  The Consortium's focus on its immediate and long term leadership, value and impact on the production, storage, transmission, distribution and consumption of energy is designed to foster Arizona's competitive advantages as a place to conduct energy business and generate power for the region. The Consortium is also dedicated to promoting economic development initiatives that support the energy industry and continued technological developments that incentivize advancements towards safe, reliable, affordable, efficient, diversified and renewable energy from within and outside of Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Energy Consortium, please visit

About the Arizona Technology Council

The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona's premier trade association for science and technology companies.  Recognized as having a diverse professional business community, Council members work towards furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. The Arizona Technology Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, managers, employees and visionaries to make an impact on the technology industry.  These interactions contribute to the Council's culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Technology Council, please visit

For more information please contact:

Media contact:

Linda Capcara

Global Connect Communications

(480) 229 -7090

Organization contacts:

Michelle De Blasi

 Christopher Davey

Arizona Energy Consortium Co-Chair

 Arizona Energy Consortium Co-Chair

(602) 445-8485

 (602) 910-6740



SOURCE Arizona Technology Council