PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer said her dedication to solar energy can be seen on the roof of her house, where she’s had solar panels since the 1970s.
Under a bright sun Wednesday in Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, Brewer said solar is the key to the state’s future.
“Arizona was made for solar energy,” she said.
Brewer joined speakers from the Arizona Corporation Commission and Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the debut of a solar unit designed to fold up during inclement weather.
Scottsdale-based Monarch Power developed the Lotus Mobile to provide a portable source of power that, unlike traditional solar panels, doesn’t need to be attached to an electric grid.
The Lotus Mobile features petal-like panels that move to track the sun’s course across the sky and fold in on themselves for protection.
The project’s inventor, Arizona State University professor and Monarch Power CEO Joseph Hui, said his inspiration comes from two sources: butterflies and lotus flowers.
“It’s a beautiful thing, and besides the beauty it generates power also,” he said.
His love of butterflies contributed to his car, a bright orange Tesla Roadster that’s charged by a version of his solar panels.
Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Lotus Mobile helps show that Arizona is well on its way to becoming “the solar capital of the world.”
Susan Bitter Smith, a Republican newly elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission, said Arizona benefits from solar energy companies.
“Monarch Power is a great example of our entrepreneurialism in the state,” she said.
The Lotus Mobile’s ability to provide power without being connected to an electrical grid is crucial for bringing electricity to rural areas and Third World countries, said Slobodan Petrovic, an electrochemistry professor at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Williamsville.
“It’s the ideal solution for bringing renewable solar energy to the forgotten people in Africa and South America,” he said.
Arizona ranks second in the nation in solar panel installation, trailing only California, according to an annual report from the Solar Energy Industries Association.
For Hui, the attraction to solar energy is simple to explain.
“We need to think about what makes us happy,” he said. “Sunshine makes us happy.”
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them