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Arizona continues push to become solar energy capital

PHOENIX — Business leaders, community leaders, students, solar industry representatives will gather at Arizona State University’s SkySong Tuesday and Wednesday for Arizona Solar Summit III.

Former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes is with ASU and said most Arizonans believe solar energy represents our economic destiny in many ways.

“We have more sun here than any other state in the country and probably any other place on the planet. Arizona trails only California when it comes to solar development and the top spot is in reach,” Mayes said.

“In the past decade we’ve developed great policies like the renewable energy standard to have utilities produce more energy from solar. More people and businesses have put solar panels on the rooftops.”

Arizona still imported some of its energy in 2010 and Mayes said that is money that could be kept in-state and used to create new jobs and projects like the Solana Project near Gila Bend are what Arizona needs to reduce reliance on imported energy.

That facility is expected to create up to 1,700 construction jobs and 85 permanent jobs.