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Solar photovoltaic panels convert energy from the sun into electricity. Arizona is an idea location to install solar systems since we receive a relatively high amount of annual sunshine.
Solar systems are best suited in areas that receive a relatively high amount of annual sunshine like Arizona. The productivity of photovoltaic systems is sensitive to the specifics of the installation method and location. In particular, these systems are impacted by shading, photovoltaic panel horizontal tilt angle and azimuth.
The decision to install a photovoltaic system on your property should be made after you consider a variety of factors. Local building codes, availability of sunlight, maintenance requirements and the cost of other alternative energy options such as wind, should all enter into your decision to install solar generation. In most populated areas of Arizona a solar generator is more cost effective than other forms of renewable generation, such as wind. This is especially true if your house has a south facing roof slope that is free of shade for the majority of the day.
Customers may qualify for federal and state tax credits to further reduce the cost of the system. Talk with a tax professional about current tax credits available to you for a renewable energy system. You can also view federal and state tax credits at dsireusa.org.
A typical Tucson household uses about 11,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. One kilowatt of solar power will produce approximately 1,700 kWh per year. Your system size will depend on how much of your power you would like to generate with solar and on the availability of unshaded space on your rooftop. A field visit with a qualified installer will help determine an appropriate system size.
To request an electricity consumption report specific to your house contact us. These reports cost $8.00. TEP does not recommend a solar electric system that exceeds annual power usage.
The contractor installing your system must have a license from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (AZROC) that authorizes them to install the kind of system that you purchase. TEP does not endorse any contractor/installer. A customer may hire any qualified, licensed contractor of their choice. TEP does require the installer to also possess an Arizona business license that is active and in good standing.
Contractors are required to pass a solar trade exam with the AZROC in order to obtain the proper license classification. Some license classifications can be confusing and a contractor's license status may change at any given time. Please refer to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors website for the most up to date information and for appropriate licensing guidelines at AZROC.
TEP recommends that customers meet with at least three licensed solar installers. Evaluate each candidate's experience and consider other factors such as: Do they have any unresolved complaints, judgements or liens? Will they provide a list of references?
Download a copy of the application process – PDF 69 KB
In the Tucson area, solar systems typically produce 1,700 kilowatt hours annually per 1 kilowatt of PV installed. Please review the table below for system production estimates.
|kW System||Estimated Annual System Production|
|1 kW||1,700 kWh|
|2 kW||3,400 kWh|
|3 kW||5,100 kWh|
|4 kW||6,800 kWh|
|5 kW||8,500 kWh|
|6 kW||10,200 kWh|
|7 kW||11,900 kWh|
|8 kW||13,600 kWh|
|9 kW||15,300 kWh|
|10 kW||17,000 kWh|
The typical Tucson household uses 11,000 kWh per year. The average system size in Tucson is 4 kW and produces 6,800 kWh per year, 212 kWh per month or 6.9 kWh per day.
The simplest way to calculate this is as follows:
While this is an example, real payback depends on several factors including usage, system size, ability to take tax credits, your actual installed system cost, type of PV technology used in the system, and others. The installer will be able to assist with running these calculations when you contact them.
Note that there is an intangible societal benefit not included in these calculations. It can be difficult to put a price tag on your contribution to the environment.
The PV array size must at least 1.2 kW for grid-tied systems.
Yes. All photovoltaic modules must be certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory as meeting the requirements of UL-1703. All other electrical components must be UL listed. This includes the inverter, which must be certified as meeting the requirements of IEEE-1547 and must be UL-1741 certified.
Yes. Installation must follow applicable codes and standards. TEP reserves the right to discontinue this option if TEP finds self-installed systems do not adhere to applicable codes and standards or exhibit poor quality workmanship.
Consult with a tax professional about current tax credits available to you for a renewable energy system. You can also view federal and state tax credits at dsireusa.org.
Absolutely! As customers use the energy from their solar PV systems, they use less power from the utility. This allows us to reduce the amount of fuel used at our power plants, thus reducing emissions. Together, we are working today for a bright tomorrow.
Residential Solar Application – complete the online form »
Visit the Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board website to learn more about best practices in solar installation.