Arizona could become a hub for solar energy businesses in the Southwest, according to experts in a new report compiled by Colliers International.
The report, “Solar Energy Network — Partners for Change,” features a host of Arizona officials who promoting solar energy as a major economic driver, making a case for what Arizona has done to promote the industry.
“I think it’s going to be the biggest industry to hit Arizona in the next 10 to 20 years,” said Matt Fitz-Gerald, team leader for Colliers Solar Energy Network. “Arizona has the business infrastructure, trained and available work force, economic climate, and tax and investment incentives to attract solar energy companies and provide them with a competitive edge.”
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Greater Phoenix Economic Council President and CEO Barry Broom, and Arizona Corporation Commission Chairwoman Kris Mayes are among 25 industry leaders discussing the state’s effort to provide a better landing spot for solar companies in the report. Officials have been pushing to put Arizona in a better position to land solar companies as other sta
tes lure manufacturing with heavy incentives. The state this year enacted a law providing renewable energy industries with incentives based on the high-paying jobs they bring in.
Fitz-Gerald said in the two years he’s been working to find real estate for renewable energy companies, he has seen a growing desire from business owners to take a look at Arizona, particularly in the wake of the incentives bill’s passage.
Arizona’s good climate for businesses also is a draw for the renewable energy industries, Fitz-Gerald said.
The state has instituted a renewable energy standard that requires local utilities to generate 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2025, 30 percent of that from rooftop solar systems. The report features a cross-section of contributors from the solar industry, government, business development, utilities and academia.