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Clean energy news: February 2024

Department of Energy awards $2 million for clean energy programs in Yuma

The U.S. Department of Energy is investing in clean energy job training in Yuma. They awarded $2 million dollars to Arizona Western College to grow the region’s skilled workforce. This is the first time we have received one from the Department of Energy, says Reetika Dhawan, vice president of the entrepreneurial college of Workforce & Healthcare Programs at AWC. Read more >>

Arizona’s EV boom brings big benefits to rural communities

When it comes to manufacturing growth in recent years, Arizona beats out nearly every state in the country, with a significant portion of these jobs coming in the battery and electrical vehicle (EV) industry. Even more noteworthy is the fact that a majority of these expansions have taken place in rural communities. Read more >>


Neighborhood Sustainability Grant awards funding for 2024 in Flagstaff issued

For over a decade, the Neighborhood Sustainability Grant has funded 63 projects across the City of Flagstaff. The grant has been an annual staple for individuals, organizations and businesses looking to continue or create sustainability projects for the community.

This year is no different, with 13 applicants granted funding ranging from $2,150 to $7,500 for projects largely related to gardening, community education and support programs for people without homes. Read more >>

City of Scottsdale Announces Sustainable Scottsdale Awards Program

The Sustainable Scottsdale Awards program is a recognition for those spearheading significant environmental advancements in Scottsdale. This award spotlights the “change makers” that have made a tangible difference by completing projects that positively impact both our environment and community. Read more >>


Renewable Energy Tax Exchange to Launch

Phoenix-based REOX is positioned to transform the renewable energy market though its innovative exchange platform launching March 1st 2024.

Driven by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and focused on Investment Tax Credits and Production Tax Credits, REOX connects buyers and sellers on a seamlessly integrated platform. The technology driven, compliance focused platform delivers due diligence, marketing, tax preparation and financing, simplifying the process for both renewable energy producers and buyers. Read more >>

SOLARCYCLE Launches Mesa Headquarters, Elevating Solar Recycling and Job Opportunities in Arizona

SOLARCYCLE, a technology-driven solar recycling firm, is set to establish its new headquarters in Mesa, Arizona, promising to generate over 100 local job opportunities. The cutting-edge facility includes a research laboratory dedicated to advancing the company’s proprietary recycling technologies, spearheaded by a team of scientists and engineers. Read more >>

Arizona utility regulators vote to kill renewable standards

Let the market dictate how utilities do business. That was the message from Arizona utility regulators on Tuesday after they voted to begin the process of repealing the state’s energy efficiency and renewable standards.

Solar industry advocates expressed disbelief, saying while most states are expanding their renewable standards, Arizona is the only state they know of scrapping them altogether. Commissioners said the mandates had either served their purpose or were unnecessarily burdening ratepayers with extra costs. Read more >>

VLS Environmental Solutions celebrates opening of Arizona WTE facility

VLS Environmental Solutions, a Houston-based sustainable waste management services provider, has opened its greenfield waste-to-energy (WTE) facility in Quartzsite, Arizona. The company celebrated the facility’s opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in January. Read more >>


300-MW Arizona solar + storage project meets IRA apprenticeship requirements

McCarthy Building Companies’ Renewable Energy team recently reached peak construction workforce on the Sun Streams 4 solar construction project, a 377-MWDC PV and 300-MWAC/1200 MWh solar and 300-MWAC battery storage facility being developed by Longroad Energy, a U.S.-based renewable energy developer, owner and operator. McCarthy was selected as the EPC contractor for the project, located approximately 40 miles west of Phoenix. Read more >>

Arizona tribe first to span canals with solar panels

For the first time in the United States, a tribe in Arizona is building a solar farm over an irrigation canal to produce clean energy and save water at a time of unrelenting drought.

The Gila River Indian Community has broken ground on a project to put solar panels over nearly 3,000 feet of the Casa Blanca canal south of Phoenix. It’s one phase of a pilot project designed to eventually help the tribe reach its goal of using 100% renewable power. Read more >>

In Arizona, 4.8 million acres of federal land could be available for solar development

The Bureau of Land Management will be hosting a public meeting in Yuma Thursday night on the agency’s Western Solar Plan. The Biden Administration released it last month and the public comment period runs through mid-April.

The BLM created the first solar plan in 2012, and officials say they’re updating it now to reflect several changes over those dozen years — including developments in technology, changes in the industry and in the demand for solar, as well as the increased emphasis in the current administration on transitioning to more renewable energy. Read more >>

Arizona leaders take advantage of Inflation Reduction Act tax credits for sustainability projects

Leaders of Arizona’s public, private and nonprofit sectors Monday discussed financial incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, explaining how they will use available federal funds for conservation efforts and renewable energy projects.

The conversation centered around the Inflation Reduction Act’s direct pay provisions, which allow governments and organizations “to treat the amount of certain credits as a payment against tax on their tax returns and as a result receive direct payments for certain clean energy tax credits.” Read more >>

Arizona secures $10.3 million investment for ecosystem restoration

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) granted Arizona $10.3 million for the restoration of the state’s lands and waters, courtesy of funding from the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America Agenda.

The allocated funds will be directed towards locally-led, landscape-scale restoration projects including mining risk assessment, invasive species surveillance, and the development of climate-adapted seeds. Read more >>


Over 1 million Arizona customers to see rooftop solar fees increase

About 1.4 million customers in Arizona will be paying more for electricity now that regulators have approved a rate hike proposed by the state’s largest utility, and an extra fee for customers with rooftop solar systems is prompting more criticism.

The average monthly bill for Arizona Public Service Co. residential customers will increase by about $10 to $12 starting in March, and those with solar panels will be on the hook for an extra $2.50 to $3 per month under the changes adopted by the Arizona Corporation Commission following an hours-long hearing Thursday. Read more >>


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