SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- GWS Technologies, Inc. (Pink Sheets: GWSC) announced today that it has begun design and engineering on a proposed 1500 acre commercial wind and solar farm under development on the Colorado Plateau northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona. Phase I of the project consists of wind turbines and solar panels combining wind and solar generating capability which will allow electrical generation during almost any weather conditions and mitigate spikes in energy production.
The Department of Energy's Wind Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have published a wind resource map for the state of Arizona which indicates that Arizona has wind resources consistent with utility-scale production. The larger contiguous areas of good-to-excellent resources are located in northern and eastern Arizona close to the eastern edge of the Mogollon Rim. The Mogollon Rim is a topographical and geological feature which defines the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau.
The Colorado Plateau is a region geologically and topographically distinct from other parts of the Western United States, and is actually a huge basin ringed by highlands and filled with many individual plateaus. Sprawling across southeastern Utah, northern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and western Colorado, the Colorado Plateau province covers a land area of 130,000 square miles. Of America's 50 states, only Alaska, Texas, California, and Montana are larger.
In addition to untapped wind energy potential, the Colorado Plateau is a region with some of the best solar conditions in the United States.
Arizona utilities are required to generate 15 percent of their power from renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines and solar panels, by 2025 to meet state requirements. However, due to economic conditions, development of alternative energy installations slowed significantly last year. Prior to the financial crisis, many renewable energy projects relied upon third party tax equity investors to monetize the value of federal renewable energy incentives. In 2008, President George W. Bush signed the 8-year solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, into law, but the global recession and resulting economic downturn dramatically reduced the number of investors that would be able to utilize the tax credit.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created the Treasury Grant Program, which allows the owner of commercial solar property to receive a 30 percent grant, in lieu of taking the solar ITC. With the recent extension of the Treasury Grant Program, Arizona is poised to become a leader in the solar energy sector. Applicants are eligible for the Treasury Grant only if they commence construction on projects by December 31, 2011 and complete construction by December 31, 2016.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA®), so far the Treasury Grant Program has helped stimulate more than 1,100 solar projects in 42 states and supported $18 billion in investment. The program has been critical in allowing the solar industry to grow by over 100 percent in 2010, create enough new solar capacity to power 200,000 homes and provide work to more than 93,000 Americans.
Solar installations in the United States are continuing to increase in size and capacity and many large-scale plants have been announced in North America this year. Just a few years ago the largest photovoltaic solar plant in the world was 18 MW; now it is common to see projects under development in the 10-30 MW range. Currently the largest solar plant in the world is 80 MW, but recently plans were announced for a 150-MW project in Arizona. GWS Technologies plans to develop its projects in phases ranging from 10-20 MW.
In his recent State of the Union address, President Barack Obama put clean energy front and center on the agenda of the American government. The President said that he hopes America can obtain 80% of its energy from clean sources by 2035, the most aggressive target ever proposed by a president, and that is was time for America to invest in the energy of the future and stop supporting the energy of the past. He called on Congress to remove all subsidies for fossil fuels and to reinvest the money saved into clean energy initiatives.
About GWS Technologies, Inc.
GWS Technologies, Inc. is a developer of wind and solar farms through joint ventures with landowners and investors. Its business model is to develop utility-scale electrical generating facilities through the design, planning/zoning, site and facility construction, and installation of wind turbines and solar arrays on suitable properties which generate electricity that can be sold to end-users and utility companies, allowing the company to participate in long-term power purchase agreement revenues.
Safe Harbor Statement:
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company to be materially different from any future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, changes in levels of competition, possible loss of customers, and the company's ability to attract and retain key personnel.
SOURCE GWS Technologies, Inc.