Solar Zone at UA Tech Park – one of the largest multi-technology solar demonstration site in the United States
The Solar Zone at the UA Tech Park in Tucson, Arizona is capturing national and international attention, having grown to be one of the largest multi-technology solar demonstration site in the United States. The University of Arizona leveraged its assets to develop an innovative renewable energy project with industry partner Tucson Electric Power (TEP) to create the ideal environment to test and deploy current and future solar technologies.
Ten companies and organizations are participating in Phase One of the Solar Zone, testing and demonstrating a variety of solar technologies and systems. The Solar Zone houses 95,000 solar panels and more than 100 solar concentrators generating 23 megawatts of power, which is nearly twice the daily electrical consumption of the Tech Park and enough to power the homes of more than 4,600 TEP residential customers for a year.
Power generation and distribution are only one component of the Solar Zone. Equally important is research and development. The Solar Zone is designed to provide university and industry researchers with the ability to evaluate various technologies as they perform side by side. Testing under identical operating conditions allows developers to determine when systems are most efficient and economical. University of Arizona researchers are testing everything from solar power forecasting to the environmental impact of solar energy installations.
The concept is to create an integrated, multi-dimensional research center that can foster all elements of solar energy development including: generation and distribution; research and development; assembly and manufacturing; product development; testing and evaluation; workforce training; and public education and demonstration.
Tech Parks Arizona has done all of the above, creating a bridge between academia and industry through green technology innovations. The ability for many technologies to be tested and evaluated at the Solar Zone has allowed participating companies to access, modify, and improve the efficiency and potential impact of renewable energy.
VIDEO THANKS TO Tech Parks Arizona