It’s hard to keep solar down in the sun-loving state of Arizona — folks are happy with their bright spot in the sun and more homeowners than ever are harvesting that golden energy hitting their roofs. Surmounting some of the worse political challenges to residential solar, Arizona still stands tall among the top US states with the highest solar capacity per capita. So, if you are among the many folks still looking up at your roof and dreaming of clean solar energy powering your home, read on. The following article will help you understand your state’s brilliant spot in the sun and find the best Arizona solar installers to harvest the rays hitting your roof.
Image by MariaGodfrida
US & Arizona Solar Industry Data for 2017
Topping all other power generating technologies across the US for the first time ever, 39% of all new electric generating capacity was provided by solar energy in 2016. Data for the first quarter of 2017 continued this trend, with 30% of all new capacity installed in Q1 2017 coming from solar energy.
There are now nearly 1.4 million solar installations nationwide, representing nearly 45 GW of total solar capacity installed, or enough electricity to power more than 8.7 million homes. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) predicts this number will reach 2 million solar installations by 2018 and 4 million by 2022.
Accompanied by stiff competition and economies of scale, SEIA reports that the cost of installing a rooftop solar system in the US has dropped by more than 70% since 2010. Over the past decade, the average annual growth rate of solar in the US has been 68%, largely spurred by the mobilizing effect of the Solar Investment Tax Credit passed initially in 2006.
Arizonans are among the earliest pioneers in the nationwide transition to solar power. With sunshine accompanying Arizonans for about 85% of the year, the huge popularity of solar energy in the Grand Canyon State is clearly a no-brainer.
However, joining this long history of solar power uptake in Arizona has been a lot of utility-sponsored pushback, filled with public battles over the value of rooftop solar power generation, the rate (and fate) of compensation for excess generation, and a big fat FBI investigation of APS, the state’s largest power provider, for suspicious political contributions.
In spite of all the public turmoil, over $1,109 million was invested in solar over the course of 2016, for a cumulative (and cool) total of $7,777.92 million invested in the Arizona solar market. Fueled by this generous influx, solar installations surged strongly, with Arizona rising to number 3 in the nation, up from 7th in 2016. More than 656 MW were added in 2016, bringing the total installed solar capacity in Arizona to 3,151.3 MW. Nearly half a million homes (469,000) in the state are powered by solar and 5.11% of Arizona’s electricity is “currently” (couldn’t resist) generated from solar energy.
Arizona also ranks in the top tier for solar employment, with 7,310 people employed in solar jobs. A statewide total of 432 companies support the solar market, comprised of 223 Arizona solar installers/developers, 74 manufacturers, and 127 other solar-related businesses.
Arizona solar companies map — screenshot from SEIA.org
Among the notable solar installations in Arizona, 100 MW Mesquite Solar 2 in Tonopah, completed in 2015, has enough capacity to power over 14,995 homes. Solana, completed in 2013, has 280 MW of capacity, enough power to plug in over 41,652 homes.
Planning a solar plant since 2014, the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority inaugurated the 27.3 MW Kayenta Solar Project in June 2017. This is the first large-scale solar power plant built on the reservation, bringing electricity to many residents for the first time ever. The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, an entity of the Navajo nation, is now planning additional solar power plants to be constructed on the 300 acres of land under Navajo jurisdiction in Arizona.
Joining such large retailers as Albertson, Body Sculpting Center, and Bookmans Recreational Exchange going solar, Macy’s tops the list with 3 MW of solar capacity installed on the roof of its logistics and operations center in Goodyear, Arizona.
Macy’s Solar Rooftop Installation at Goodyear, Arizona — screenshot from Google Maps
Best Tips For Contacting Arizona Solar Installers
With a 70% decline in cost since 2010, rooftop solar is cheaper than ever and finding the best Arizona solar installers is easier than ever, too. There are a few considerations to keep in mind, however, when you are contacting installers to get a solar quote. The following tips will help guide you to get the most efficient harvest of solar energy for your home.
- Gather your past utility bills to know how much electricity your home used in the last 12 months
- Consider the likelihood of your family growing, putting in a pool, hot tub, etc. to gauge your future electricity needs
- Consider installing an EV charger with your rooftop solar if you have or plan to purchase a new EV
- Consider any time constraints you may be facing over the next 12 months — a solar installation can potentially take a while to complete
- Consider your budget constraints — explore owning/leasing options with all Arizona solar installers you contact to find the right fit
- Consider higher quality hardware to get the best harvest of solar power — the lowest price tag is not necessarily the best choice
Keep in mind that labor and “soft” costs take up about 50% of a solar installation price tag. Larger solar companies typically spend more on “soft” items, such as major advertising campaigns and other marketing costs, with their customers footing the bills.
Also, the installer you choose must be completely familiar with all of your local, state, and federal incentives, as well as local permitting and other utility-related rules and regulations. Choose carefully between local and out-of-town solar installers, since local experience, ongoing support, and the honoring of warranties offered can be crucial in both the near term and the future.
Every rooftop solar installation is unique, but no matter how you get it done, going solar is a rewarding decision. Harvesting clean, free solar energy to power your home brings a huge sense of satisfaction, knowing that you are part of the renewable energy revolution and doing your part to help protect the environment.
Image by David Crummey, Flickr of Tuscon, AZ homes with rooftop solar (CC BY 2.0)
Best Arizona Solar Installers for 2017
The list below is hand-picked to give you a list of the best Arizona solar installers for 2017. Every situation is unique, so this list is not in order by ranking factors which may or may not apply to your case. Listed alphabetically, the following Arizona solar installers represent the best in the market based on reviews and rankings from such sites as solarreviews.com and solarpowerworldonline.com.
American Solar & Roofing
1230 W 23rd St Tempe, AZ 85282
671 N 137th Ave #105, Goodyear, AZ 85338
Arizona Energy Pros
20801 N. 19th Ave., #10, Phoenix, AZ 85027
Arizona Solar Wave
2812 N Norwalk, Mesa, AZ 85215
Black Platinum Solar
1505 W Cloud Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85086
Cool Blew Solar & Electric
8927 W Bloomfield Rd #135, Peoria, AZ 85381
15911 N 174th Ave, Surprise, AZ 85388
Custom Solar and Leisure
3941 E 29th St #601, Tucson, AZ 85711
2168 E Williams Field Rd #210, Gilbert, AZ 85295
Energy Solution Providers
111 North Main Street, Florence, Arizona 85132
945 W. Deer Valley Rd., Suite #100, Phoenix, AZ 85027
1849 W Acoma Blvd #110, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
Net Zero Solar
101 W. 5TH STREET, TUCSON, AZ 85705
20819 N 25th Place, Phoenix, Arizona 85050
Premier Solar Solutions
16807 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032
Pur Solar, Inc
1505 Cochise St., Cottonwood, AZ 86326
10632 N Scottsdale Rd #266, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
7880 N Glen Harbor Blvd, Glendale, AZ 85307
3834 E Roeser, Phoenix, AZ 85040
1725 West Williams, Building E, Suite 60, Phoenix, AZ 85027
5401 South 37th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85040
3600 State Route 69, Dewey, AZ 86327
3016 E 33rd Place, Suite 1, Yuma, AZ 85365
Solar Solution AZ
2521 N Fairview Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705
102 S. 28th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85034
1565 W University Dr, Suite #103. Tempe, AZ 85281
4959 East 29th St, Tucson, AZ 85711
9324 E. Cooper Place, Tucson, AZ 85710
4366 E 28th St, Tucson, AZ
2717 W Dunlap Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85051
2720 South Hardy Drive, Suite # 4, Tempe, AZ, 85282
The Solar Store
2833 N. Country Club Road, Tucson, AZ 85716
236 S Mulberry #102, Mesa, AZ 85202
1161 E. 21st Street Unit C, Yuma, AZ 85365