Posts Tagged ‘University of Arizona’

15 February

Carmine A. Tilghman of Tucson Electric Power Helps Us To Use More Solar Energy !


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

There are still more valuable interviews to be shared with you from my trip up to the Philadelphia, PA last week. Today’s post is an interview with Carmine A. Tilghman, Director of Renewable Resources & Programs at Tucson Electric Power, during PV America East 2013, in Pennsylvania Convention Center of Philadelphia, PA.

Mr. Tilghman commented on how Tucson Electric Power (a  UniSource Energy Company) worked collaboratively with University of Arizona, Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (aka AzRISE), and various other entities for grant opportunities (such as IBM and other universities, research institutes and developers). Such collaboration is very instrumental in promoting solar and renewable energy use to the next level. He also mentioned a recent “leasing model” that addresses the main concern or challenge of consumers in dealing with cost effectiveness of implementing solar energy. Furthermore, the dramatic drop in cost of solar energy makes it much more affordable for every one. Therefore, the larger integration of distributed generation as well as utility scale projects will continue to provide plenty of opportunities and challenges to utility companies. As the utilities move forward to meet the various RPS standard in different states, utilities will continue to operate the grid while meeting reliability criteria and providing the reliable service enjoyed by consumers. Some challenges faced by installers or developers, such as regulatory uncertainty, back lash, or recession have been overcome.

Some clarification for RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard): it is state requirement for regulated utilities to have specified fraction of their electricity from renewable energy sources. Not all 50 states have RPS (I know FL does not have one whereas 37 states already have either RPS standards (mandatory) or Goals (voluntary). Please refer to the map provided by U.S. Energy Information Administration for states with RPS.

Mr. Tilghman mentioned that AZ RPS is based on certain percentage of sales for each of the regulated utilities, with expectation of 15% renewables by 2025. AZ RPS started its infancy in 2000, then through public process, corporation commission hearings, was designed in 2006 and finally implemented in 2007. This lengthy process was well worth it for the state of AZ. In five years, AZ Public Service (largest investor in utility serving greater Phoenix area) as well as Tucson Electric Power & UNS Electric Inc. have all reached beyond the minimum requirement set by AZ RPS. Mr. Tilghman observes that implementation of distributed generation programs, when successfully implemented (as has been the case in AZ), solar installations will continue without any incentives. On behalf of Tucson Electric Power, Mr. Tilghman expresses their acceptance in meeting the challenge in moving forward to renewable energy and have demonstrated their success and willingness in sharing their trials and tribulations with other utility companies throughout USA.

Any states or utility companies interested in learning more about lessons learned from the process of obtaining AZ RPS or successfully integrating distributed generation into the utility or grid, please feel free to contact Mr. Carmine A. Tilghman of Tucson Electric Power via

Thank you, Mr. Tilghman, for sharing your experience with our viewers/visitor.

~have a bright and sunny day~
Interviewed, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,
Any of your comments/suggestions/ questions are welcomed.

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18 March

Will The SolarBullet High-Speed-Train Soon Become a Reality for Arizona and Southwest?


If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at Thank you.

So far I have written/seen solar powered car and solar powered plane in previous blogs of Sun Is The Future, but it was only recently that I have learned that the solar powered high-speed-train was/is actually on some one’s drawing board!  It is without a shadow of doubt that solar energy is one of the greenest energy sources and the idea of taking advantage of the hugely available solar energy in the American Southwest by covering the tracks with  solar arrays to provide the high-speed train with  necessary power and to generate electricity for nearby communities as well…is simply marvelous!

Will the SolarBullet high-speed train soon be a reality for AZ and Southwest USA?

The SolarBullet Campaign (at ), chaired by Ted L. Hullar, aims to stimulate support and awareness  among Arizonians to increase the chance of this project (building a sun-powered bullet train that could link Tucson and Phoenix in as little as 33 minutes, traveling at 220 mph) to come into fruition.

Graduate students in the Eller College and the College of Engineering are partnering on a consulting project for citizen’s group. A multifaceted team of graduate students at the University of Arizona will climb aboard a solar-powered train between Tucson and Phoenix this Spring, metaphysically speaking.  The team will analyze the economic feasibility conditions for the SolarBullet high-speed train to make economic sense between these two cities;they will produce a tool, a spreadsheet model, that can be used by , to generate and compare feasibility of  different scenarios.  The team is composed of Kevin Do (material science engineering), Chengdong Cai (civil engineering), Kevin Pieters (planning), Matt Novak (material science engineering), Jeff Gerber (MBA), Allison Duffy (MBA), and Paul Portney (economist and energy expert and former dean of the Eller College of Management as faculty advisor).

Keep in mind that as the cost of solar cells (will be discussed in future posts) continue to drop, the chance of the feasibility of this project will increase.  We hope that SolarBullet high speed train will soon become a reality in Arizona and Southwest of USA, where the sunshine is generous and in infinite supply.  But also for clarification, the high-speed bullet train (not solar powered) that had been causing heated discussion in the state of Florida recently actually would cost a lot less than the SolarBullet high-speed train.  But in either case, the potential businesses and jobs that these high-speed train projects would bring to the local communities would be tremendous.  Any state that will be able to bring the world’s first SolarBullet high-speed train will undoubtedly create a great deal of sensations in that state.

My hat off to the Arizonians with this innovative public transportation concept for using the free, non-polluting green energy from our greatest natural resource, the SUN!  For more information or to show your support for SolarBullet Campaign, please contact SolarBullet Campaign chair Ted L. Hullar at SolarBullet Campaign or and for questions regarding the team project please contact Liz Warren-Pederson of Eller College of Management at .

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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