Arizona Solar Incentives May Get Vote

Solar advocates want to get Arizona voters to decide that state should create new incentives for solar power installations. The Arizona Solar Power Society (ASPS) just submitted the initiative to the Arizona secretary of state. Now the group says it needs to raise $1.2 million in order to collect the more than 170,000 signatures it needs ov the next year to place the initiative on the 2012 ballot.

An Aug. 1 press release from the ASPS says the initiative would allow for a tax incentive of $2.25 per watt generated by solar installations. If the initiative passes, residents who receive the incentive would give up their solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) to the State of Arizona, which would then be able to sell the credits to utilities or to corporations interested in purchasing the credits to offset carbon emissions.

Solar Farm

image via Shutterstock

Earlier this year, the ASPS began a campaign to develop a $825 million solar loan and leasing plan, the Phoenix Business Journal reported in February. The ASPS is an association made up of solar installers and other businesses and individuals with stakes in Arizona’s solar industry. Its executive director and the chair of the related PAC behind the ballot initative is Robert Hoskins, director of marketing for Solar Topps, a Tempe, Ariz.-based solar installer.

In its announcement of the signature drive, the PAC claims the proposed incentives would spur demand for solar systems. Even without the incentives, Arizona has doubled its photovoltaic installations over the past two years and this year has already seen some big solar plans for the state, including a plant outside of Phoenix that could eventually generate 600-700 megawatts of electricity.