Arizona State University to Host Third Arizona Solar Summit

Share Article

AZ Solar Summit III to focus on Game Changing efforts to propel Arizona to global solar leadership

News Image
This summit will allow the community to experience the best of Arizona’s solar initiatives first hand. It is definitely an event that key players in our solar industry don’t want to miss

ASU SkySong, along with ASU LightWorks, will host the third Arizona Solar Summit on October 9 and 10. Solar Summit III: Game Changers (Summit III) will focus on the state’s efforts to propel Arizona to a position of global leadership in the dynamic and growing solar industry. This free, two day event will begin with guided bus tours of Arizona’s cutting edge solar sites and leading solar industry projects, and will culminate in a day of engaging speakers and sessions that will discuss the trajectory of Arizona’s solar industry and the impact it will have on the state’s economy.

“Arizona Solar Summit III is an opportunity for Arizona citizens to engage with researchers, students, community leaders and industry representatives. It is designed to help educate participants and will spotlight new and significant solar activity in the state that we hope will have an impact on advancing this industry,” said Kris Mayes, faculty director of the Program on Law and Sustainability at the College of Law at Arizona State University. Mayes, who was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Energy Foundation, contributes to the LightWorks initiative at ASU where she is focused on identifying and creating solutions that address and plan for Arizona’s energy future.

Arizona was recently ranked by Solar Energy Industries Association as second in the nation for solar development, yet more can still be done to continue to advance Arizona’s energy future. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration, Arizona produced 588 trillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2010. Arizona’s consumption was 1400 trillion Btu’s, meaning the state imported 812 Btu’s. This import accounts for several billions of dollars on energy each year. This is money that could be kept in the state and reallocated to create new jobs. Projects, such as Abengoa’s Solana project in Gila Bend, are what Arizona needs to lessen reliance on imported energy. The 280 MW plant is estimated to create 1,600 to 1,700 construction jobs and 85 permanent jobs. The purpose of Summit is to focus on these game changing efforts and explore ways to continue the momentum.

Summit III site visits will highlight projects like Abengoa’s Solana project and will educate the community on the importance of these efforts for Arizona’s energy and economic future. Site visits will include:

  •     A Phoenix Visit highlighting top of the line green and sustainable practices in the Valley’s construction industry. The Phoenix visit includes stops at DPR Construction, APS’s solar installation at Chase Field and Shea Homes.
  •     A tour of ASU’s impressive solar projects and efforts, including a tour of the Power Parasol (a 5.25 acre solar installation with a 2.124 MB capacity), a stop at Decision Theater for a demonstration of the Arizona Solar Market and Research Tool and an update on plans for the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives.
  •     A visit to Gila Bend to see the trailblazing work being done within Gila Bend’s Solar Field Overlay Zone, with stops at numerous solar and photovoltaic plants in the area, including the largest U.S. solar power plant to store energy.
  •     A tour of Eastmark, Mesa’s first sustainable mixed-use community that will be a hub for families, jobs, education and commerce, This visit will showcase the work done since Eastmark broke ground on May 18 as well as an opportunity to see the plans for the full development of Eastmark and the surrounding Mesa-Gateway area.
  •     A pre-summit visit that takes place on October 5th in Tucson highlighting the University of Arizona’s participation in Summit III as well as showcasing the Solar Zone and other projects in the southern portion of Arizona.

“We are very excited to be hosting the third Arizona Solar Summit at SkySong and proud to be at the center of celebrating game changing innovation across the state,” said Todd Hardy, Associate Vice President for Economic Affairs at ASU. “This summit will allow the community to experience the best of Arizona’s solar initiatives first hand. It is definitely an event that key players in our solar industry don’t want to miss.”

Another highlight of Summit III will be the “Women Changing the Solar Game” panel on day two. It will be an opportunity to hear from the top women in solar in Arizona but also a chance for the industry to honor their leadership and efforts toward a global solar future. This panel will feature such distinguished women as; Kris Mayes-Director of ASU’s program on Law and Sustainability, Maria Beir-Arizona’s State Land Commissioner, Leisa Brug-Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy, Barbara Lockwood-General Manager of Energy Innovation for APS, Christina Honsberg-Professor of Electrical Engineering at ASU, Joy Seitz-Vice President of American Solar Electric, Sandra Kennedy, Commissioner for Arizona’s Corporation Commission, and Maja Wessels, Executive Vice President of Global Public Affairs for First Solar.

“Arizona's growth in solar energy markets and technology is well known and is the envy of the nation,” said Bud Annan, member of the Solar Summit Leadership Team. “What is not as well known is that it is the actions of leading women that is behind this growth. Because of their leadership, Arizona has risen to become the second most important solar state in the nation.”

Summit III has something to offer for all members of the solar industry. This must-see event is free and registration is still open. Space is limited, so interested parties should reserve their seat today. More summit information, as well as a complete agenda and a link to summit registration can be found at


Media Contact
Meagan Garrett                
Marketing Director                
ASU SkySong                

About ASU SkySong: (
ASU SkySong impacts local, state and international economies by engaging the University with businesses and governments to drive economic development and global enterprise. ASU SkySong helps grow the economy through launching and accelerating new companies and promoting use inspired research. ASU SkySong, and the dozens of emerging innovation driven companies located there, are dedicated to positively impacting the economies of our state and the country for years to come.

About ASU LightWorks: (
LightWorks pulls light-inspired research at Arizona State University under one strategic framework. It is a multidisciplinary effort to leverage ASU’s unique strengths, particular in renewable energy fields, including artificial photosynthesis, biofuels, and next-generation photovoltaics. This initiative supports policy and implementation of energy solutions, and the education of future energy leaders. LightWorks is supported by ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Meagan Garrett
ASU SkySong
Email >
Visit website