The City of Tucson has already been recognized as a leader in solar development, having been identified as one of 13 American Solar Cities by the US Department of Energy (DOE) in 2007. A Greater Tucson Solar Development Plan was published early in 2009. A set of performance indicators and a timeline was included in that report.
It is clear that some progress toward achieving those goals is already being made. For example, Tucson Electronic Power (TEP) was recognized as the 2012 Investor Owned Utility of the Year by the Solar Electric Power Association for its “leadership and continued investment in solar energy.” TEP had 45MW of solar generating capacity by mid-2012, and expects to have more than 240MW of solar generating capacity by the end of 2014. Part of the justification for granting TEP this special recognition was its continuing partnership with the University of Arizona and its Science and Technology Park’s Solar Zone. The Solar Zone is said to be a “leading center for solar energy development, especially in the testing, evaluation, and demonstration of new solar technology.”
The special public/private partnerships that have been developed in support of the region’s solar development plan represent a high standard of performance that we hope can be achieved in other areas of our Shared Regional Values.