This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 06, 2002

First Phase of Five-Megawatt Arizona Solar Plant Dedicated

APS, Arizona's largest electric utility, dedicated the first phase of its Prescott Airport Solar Power Plant on October 30th. The new solar facility is currently online with a capacity of 450 kilowatts, to be increased to 1.5 megawatts by March 2003. But within the next three to five years, the utility plans to expand the Prescott facility to 5 megawatts, which will place it among the largest in the world. See the APS press release.

A number of solar power installations were completed in October, including one 59-kilowatt and one 56-kilowatt solar power system installed in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. With funding from Clean Air Communities, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC), PowerLight Corporation installed the systems on two GMDC buildings, including advanced zinc-bromide battery systems for energy storage. See the Clean Air Communities press release.

The City of San Diego, California, is also employing solar energy, having installed its first solar power system on the city's Environmental Services Operations Station building in October. The city claims the 65-kilowatt system will generate enough electricity annually to meet the building's electricity needs. See the city's press release (PDF 92 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

Details are also emerging on the fate of $2.6 million in grants awarded last month by the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust. The grants were awarded to six organizations that will deploy roughly 250 solar power systems in the state. One of those grants, for $455,700, went to an initiative organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The MIT Community Solar Power Initiative will install 40 solar installations on the MIT campus as well as on schools, homes, and businesses in Cambridge and the nearby towns of Watertown, Arlington, Lexington, and Waltham. See the MIT press release.

All of which should provide plenty to talk about at the 7th Annual Photovoltaic Experience Conference, also called UPEx '02. The conference covers the latest issues relating to solar electricity, including business models used by utilities, solar power's integration into new building construction, and its use as a distributed generation resource. The conference runs November 13th to 15th in Austin, Texas, and is being held as a joint meeting with the Texas Renewables Conference and in conjunction with the U.S. Green Building Council's Annual Conference and Exhibition. See the conference announcement on the Solar Electric Power Association Web site.