US $4M Invested in Arizona Solar Institute

Science Foundation Arizona has announced five new solar investments totaling US $4 million and the opening of the Solar Technology Institute (STI) to advance Arizona’s renewable energy leadership.

In a collaborative effort, STI is deploying Arizona’s significant solar resources with industry and the research strengths of the University of Arizona (UA) and Arizona State University (ASU) to grow the state’s global leadership in renewable energy. 

“With STI’s combined expertise, we can leverage our financial and brainpower capital toward the best solar initiatives and breakthroughs in new solar products and technologies,” said William Harris, president and CEO, Science Foundation Arizona. “These returns on investment can significantly impact Arizona’s emerging prominence in solar and position the state to benefit from upcoming federal competitions.”

The five solar investments, totaling $4 million, include:

Concentrator Photovoltaics
Researchers at UA and ASU are collaborating on next generation low-cost solar reflectors that can be used in solar energy generating systems.

Nanostructured Films for Photovoltaics
Global Solar, General Plasma, Prism Solar, ASU and UA are teaming up to enhance the capabilities of thin film solar panels through innovative technology. This could significantly reduce the cost of electricity from solar panels.

Photovoltaic Environmental Performance and Reliability

ASU and UA are working with Tucson Electric Power, and TUV-Rheinland, to expand the ASU Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory so it can conduct more rapid product certification and testing of solar products and help identify and create better performing solar products.

Compressed Air Energy Storage
Southwest Solar Technologies, the U.S. Geological Survey, UA and ASU are developing compressed air solar storage technology for use when the sun is not shining.

AZ Smart
Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project, ASU and UA are partnering to create a system of smart grid management and to develop decision making software to help select future power generation station locations, storage sites and power lines throughout Arizona.

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