Phoenix solar roof program revived and expanded

A city-sponsored program for residential solar rooftop financing first started in Phoenix three years ago is now being offered statewide.

A $25 million commitment from National Bank of Arizona (NBA) will help relaunch the program, first offered in 2009, which may allow up to 1,000 homeowners to participate. Solar Phoenix 2 allows qualifying homeowners throughout Arizona who are within the Arizona Public Service (APS) and Salt River Project (SRP) service territories to install a solar system on their home with no upfront investment. Homeowners make monthly lease payments instead.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton held a ceremony May 15 to mark the program’s start. Solar Phoenix 2 is expected to run through the rest of 2012. “We are tapping into Arizona’s greatest resource, we’re making solar happen and we’re creating real jobs in our city. Solar Phoenix 2 reaffirms that Phoenix is the definitive place for investment in solar energy and opportunity and for a sustainable and successful economic future,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

The Solar Phoenix 2 program takes advantage of a new solar lease, which also provides a performance guarantee and covers all system maintenance. Project proponents say the homeowner’s monthly payment for the solar electricity is typically lower than their previous electricity bills. Depending on usage, customers are expected to see up to 10% to 15% savings per month.

The original Solar Phoenix program that was started in November 2009 and ran throughout 2010 was available only to Phoenix residents. The program served 400 residences and generates up to 2.8 MW. The program is collaboration among the city of Phoenix, NBA, APS and SRP.