Category: Solar

Mohave County Economic Development Department excels

By Butch Meriwether When companies decide they want to relocate to Mohave County or decide to expand their current operations here, they don’t have to shop around for information, demographic data and/or assistance. The multifaceted agency headed up by Bennett Bratley is designed to meet the growing needs of companies and is a one-stop-information source called Mohave County Economic Development Department (MCEDD). Bennett Bratley became the MCEDD director in 2009 and he has a background in real estate which is a valuable asset to the county. His department offers a variety of services and programs designed to help companies...

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EPA awards $30,000 to Arizona State University sustainable design teams

SAN FRANCISCO – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a total of $30,000 in grants to two student teams Arizona State University to design a new, less expensive solar energy prototype and the development of gasification and biochar retort technologies, a more sustainable approach to agricultural waste.  Both projects are part of EPA’s People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) program. “These students are coming up with cutting-edge solutions for the most challenging environmental issues facing Arizona, and the world,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Each year, the projects created by student teams surpass our expectations.” The Arizona State University teams will each receive $15,000 for their projects.  The projects funded are: Community-Scale Gasification and Biochar Retort Hubs for Rural Areas: A “Closed Loop” System for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioenergy – The reliance on fossil fuels, chemical agents, and nutrient deposits to draw adequate agricultural yields from marginal soils results in the accumulation of toxins in soils, water, air, and biota. In many developing countries, the resulting wastes are improperly disposed of and/or incinerated, leading to further environmental degradation, and thus magnifying risks to food security and human and ecosystem health. Gasification and biochar retort technologies promise a cost-effective and environmentally-sustainable approach to the management of organic wastes. In response to the need for interdisciplinary studies integrating appropriately-scaled economic, social, and environmental feasibility assessment, the...

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Solar energy once was considered a feel-good story.  We celebrated every announcement as a victory.  The promise of free non-polluting power was the hook-line. We celebrated a vision of Arizona where a significant amount of clean energy is produced from the power of the sun. We celebrated Calex Homes for a joint-venture with SRP that introduced both solar water heating and photovoltaics into new home construction.  Johnson Ranch Estates in the East Valley and Armory Park del Sol in Tucson were celebrated for integrating aesthetically pleasing solar systems into the roofs of houses. There were feel-good solar stories of houses whose passive solar features (orientation, thermal mass and masonry construction) provided the majority of their heating needs.  Homeowners like the Ekenbergs in Flagstaff, and Warren and Carol Brown near Benson, shared their passive solar success stories. There were stories of solar pioneers that built beyond the power lines and enjoyed every convenience that a “grid-tied” home enjoyed – even tv.  People like Gary and Marti Ross in Tucson, and Gino and Helen Holton in Prescott. There were even legal victories like the Madigans and Speaks families prevailing in court against their Homeowner Association in a decision that ensured the rights of homeowners everywhere to install and use solar systems on their property. We celebrated our utilities as responsible corporate citizens when they rolled out rebate programs.  Even though the...

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