Solar company good to go in Arizona

Jessica M. Karmasek Nov. 8, 2010, 12:42pm


PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) - The developer of Solar Tower technology announced on Friday its renewable energy source "fits the bill" under new rules recently approved and adopted by Arizona's attorney general.

According to its company website, EnviroMission Limited develops Solar Tower renewable energy technology on a global scale. However, the company, which owns the global license to Solar Tower technology, with the exception of China, has recently shifted its development focus to the Southwest United States.

In May 2009, the company's U.S. subsidiary, EnviroMission (USA), Inc., established its U.S. headquarters in Phoenix.

The Arizona rules, drafted by the state's Corporation Commission and approved by Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard last month, now force utilities in the state to provide an Integrated Resources Plan, or IRP.

Under the rules, utilities are required to quantify and consider environmental costs associated with using various fuel resources, including water -- factors not always taken into account in the power
station approval process.

Power station viability tends to be considered in terms of economic viability, favoring developments that benefit from previously commercialized technology, regardless of environmental drawbacks, EnviroMission points out.

The new rules will now factor into aspects that are expected to promote the use of cleaner renewable energy resources in Arizona, the company says.

Currently, Arizona gets 49 percent of its electricity from coal, 29 percent from natural gas, 17 percent from nuclear and 5 percent from hydro. Less than 1 percent of the state's electricity is generated from solar power.

"Arizona's new rules will favorably benefit EnviroMission's Solar Tower 'pipeline development' plans and prospects in Arizona because the environmental benefits of clean, waterless, solar-powered electricity will be advantaged for meeting the state's IRP rules," EnviroMission's Chief Executive Roger Davey said in a statement.

"Arizona's push to create a level playing field in energy utility planning will support solar entrants, including EnviroMission. The fair consideration objective of the rules will now place pressure on fossil fuel generators to cost fuel stock, including water, for the first time."

The company says the rules also could attract more solar energy jobs to Arizona and potentially jumpstart the state's solar energy industry.

EnviroMission points to the Southern California Public Power Authority's recent approval of a Power Purchase Agreement to buy green electricity from the company's first Solar Tower planned for development in Arizona.

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