The Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stressed the commitment of the federal administration to renewable energy resources.TEMPE, Arizona, US, 2001-05-31 [SolarAccess.com] The Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stressed the commitment of the federal administration to renewable energy resources. Christine Todd Whitman and Arizona governor Jane Dee Hull met with officials of Arizona Public Service on Wednesday, and she applauded the utility for its leadership in the development of solar energy technology. “I am really excited to be at a facility like this because this is the future,” she says, referring to her tour of the APS Solar Test & Research Center in Tempe. “What you’re seeing here is the actual work that allows us to be able to say that we have alternative renewable energy sources that are real.” Whitman is quoted as saying she was encouraged by APS’ testing and development at the STAR Center and was intrigued by the cutting-edge technologies at the site. “APS is creating the kind of knowledge base here that will enable us to go forward as they make the technology affordable, and as they show the naysayers that it works,” she says. “We must bring to balance the thriving economy and lifestyle we desire and enjoy a healthy, clean environment.” Whitman’s visit to Arizona was to explore EPA’s interest in renewable technologies. She acknowledged that widespread use of solar power is attainable, but that problems of lack of storage capacity and high costs of equipment are barriers. For solar plants in Arizona to be practical, more solar generation must be built and the public needs to see that solar power is attainable and affordable, she commented. “APS is working diligently to increase our renewable energy resources through solar generation,” says Chairman and CEO Bill Post. “Our company just passed the 1 MW mark and, within a year, will double that amount.” “Every kilowatt of energy we can produce from renewable resources, such as solar, is important and will help maintain our energy reserves and the reliability of our electric delivery system,” he adds. APS plans to expand the STAR Center and its solar programs, which recently dedicated three new plants totaling 500 kW in the Arizona communities of Gilbert, Glendale and Prescott at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. APS is Arizona’s largest and oldest electric utility, with 857,000 customers in eleven of the state’s 15 counties. It is the largest subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital of Phoenix.