Fall 1998 Number 2

© Venture Catalyst 1998
Solar Water Heating Funded
TCS Raises $250,000
20 kW PV Delivered
$2.8 Million for Solar Community
Installation Database
Commission Supports SWH
Agents Sell Solar
Profile: Pima Community College

Coalition Partners

Tucson Electric Power
Global Solar
Habitat for Humanity
Primavera Builders
John Wesley Miller Companies
Progressive Solar
The Solar Store
The City of Tucson
Community of Civano
Case Enterprises
The Kino Project
Venture Catalyst Inc.
Tucson Unified School District
Pima Community College ASETT Center
Tucson Institute for Sustainable Communities
National Association of Home Builders Research Center


Written & Edited by:

Valerie Rauluk & David Fuller
Venture Catalyst Inc.
(520) 326-3195
Email: sol3az@igc.org

P.O. Box 42708
Tucson, AZ 85733

Tucson Coalition for Solar......


Stimulate Demand By
  • System Discounts

  • Builder Education

  • Consumer Education

  • PV Project Examples

Strengthen & Facilitate Supply By
  • Developing Demand for New, Local Products

  • PV Installation Training

  • Financing

  • Green Pricing

  • Community Energy Co-Op

Publication donated by Tucson Electric Power

Coalition Receives Funding for Solar Water Heaters and Training

The Tucson Coalition for Solar was awarded funding from the Department of Energy to support the installation of solar water heaters throughout the community. Funding was also granted to conduct Design Laboratories for solar hot water (SWH) installations in the Tucson metropolitan area and other markets in the region. Final negotiations are being conducted but funding is expected to exceed $100,000 for the next 12 months. Installations are expected to begin in early 1999. Design Laboratories will commence in the Tucson area in the early spring, and in other markets in the summer of 1999. The Design Labs will present approaches for including SWH into designs and plans, incorporating them into standard building practices, and marketing them to home buyers. For information concerning participation or sponsorship please call Venture Catalyst at (520) 326-3195.

Tucson Coalition Raises Over $250,000 for Solar

The recent award of funds for solar water heaters brings the total of outside funds raised to support solar activities in Tucson to nearly $260,000. This does not include the cost share contributed by Coalition members to these efforts, contributions estimated at over half a million.

20 kW PV Delivered

Coalition member Progressive Solar accepted delivery on 20 kW of PV modules during July and August. The panels are destined for the Tucson metro area. The first of several shipments of solar devices, both PV and SWH, will contribute to making Tucson a “Solar Capital.” The installations are expected to occur at the end of 1998, beginning of 1999. Several major production builders have made commitments to solar devices in a significant number of their homes, particularly in the Community of Civano.

$2.8 Million Raised for Solar Community

Unisource, corporate parent of Tucson Electric Power and Global Solar, completed $2.8 million in financing to develop a solar community in the Tucson urban core. The project, in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity Tucson and Primavera Builders, is a mixed use development. Two hundred housing units will be built, half reserved for households with incomes less than the area median. The goal of the project, as developer-partner John Wesley Miller Company puts it is “zero utility bills for low income households.” The project will be the first major inroad for solar technologies into the affordable housing market

Installation Database Established

The Coalition has established a database of property owners interested in installing solar devices. The purpose of the database is to enhance volume purchasing opportunities, and support funding requests. Currently, the database is limited to prospects who have contacted the Coalition directly or attended its public event in May. As the weeks go by, word of mouth is increasing in the community and direct contact with the Coalition is increasing. Plans are in place to greatly enhance the awareness of the community of this service. Several up-coming events, such as the Innovative Home Tour, and other energy and sustainability events, will provide an opportunity to gather more infomation concerning the metro Tucson demand for solar devices.

Agents Sell Solar

During August, the first in a series of information sessions were conducted for the selling agents for the Community of Civano. The first session presented background information on solar energy and its prime household devices, photovoltaic modules and solar water heaters. In an interactive session with Coalition member Venture Catalyst and Coalition installer Progressive Solar, marketing and selling themes were generated and examined. Sessions in September and October will develop more detailed selling strategies and outline supplimental selling materials for use during the initial selling cycle, beginning in late 1998.

Restructuring Supports SWH

The Arizona Corporation Commission has added support for solar water heaters to its Retail Electric Competition rulings. Support will be allocated from the Systems Benefits Charges to each of the Utility Distribution Companies on a prorate basis. Up to $500 per system will be available. It is expected that subsidies allocated for the Tucson area may be in the area of $30,000. These amounts will increase over the next few years. It is unclear how these subsidies will be offered to the community. The Coalition is developing some options with Coalition member Tucson Electric Power to coordinate this program with its other initiatives.

Coalition Profile: Pima Community College ASETT Center

The ASETT Center is an environmental training center which was established in 1981. Its mission is to provide environmentally realted worker-based training in both seminar and contractual formats throughout the state of Arizona. Its mission began with wastewater technology. Currently, it is developing a Sustainable Technologies Program. A prime focus for the program will be renewables, in particular solar technologies. These technologies will connect to the Construction, Waste Management and Landscape Technologies Programs. Robert Flood, Director of the ASETT program, and driving force behind the Sustainable Technologies Program envisions it in this way. “We are seeking to provide a continuum for these technologies in the academic and applied communities. We see Pima Community College taking a leadership role in at least three areas.

  • By offering applied technologies for students coming from or moving towards more academic based studies, such as engineering or architecture;
  • By providing the link between high school graduates and the world of work in the sustainability/ environmental/ “green” fields of endeavor; and
  • Supporting certification and skill upgrades for working professionals”

The Coalition is working with Flood to determine community needs in this area, particularly as it relates to solar technologies, and in securing solar installations at College facilities.