Case Study from Arizona
Gary Yaquinto is president & CEO of the Arizona Investment Council. He previously served as Executive Budget Director for Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and as Chief Economist with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. He was utilities staff director at the Arizona Corporation Commission from 1984-1997. Dr. Martin Pasqualetti is Professor of Geography in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University. He is also co-director of the Energy Policy Information Council (EPIC). In 2015, he received the Alexander and Ilse Melamid Gold Medal from the American Geographical Society for his international contributions to the study of energy. His latest book (with others) is The Renewable Energy Landscape: Preserving Scenic Values in our Sustainable Future.
Solar energy is becoming increasingly familiar, with modules so commonplace that they seem to be everywhere we look. We see them on rooftops, highway billboards, isolated cell towers, and mobile homes, everywhere from New York City to the Amazon Basin.
By now, just about everyone appreciates that photovoltaic cells convert the free sunshine that strikes the planet into electricity without producing greenhouse gases, and without needing the copious volumes of cooling water that can be a serious drawback for conventional power plants.
What is not as well known, but is becoming even more compelling for consumers, is that solar photovoltaics are now producing electricity at prices that are competitive with traditional energy resources.
This is all very good news for those who worry about air pollution and global warming that can accompany continued reliance on conventional energy resources. But, could solar energy be an even better deal?
In recent years, a Chandler, Arizona firm thinks it can. Strategic Solar Energy, LLC has developed a multi-purpose business model as a value proposition. Their patented technology — which they call PowerParasol® — integrates solar generation with multiple additional values for commercial applications. In so doing, it promises to quicken the adoption of solar energy. This article is a case study of their approach.