PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns NBA basketball team, APS, Arizona’s largest electricity utility, and the city of Phoenix have announced plans to install a major solar power system at US Airways Center, the Suns’ 19,000-seat arena. The announcement unveiled plans for a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the fifth level of the US Airways Center parking garage. The system is expected to be operational in 2009.

“We expect the solar technology to reduce the traditional power usage for a portion of the center’s Casino Arizona Pavilion load by about 25 percent or the equivalent of 26 Suns home games each season,” said Steve Kerr, Suns general manager. “This demonstrates our ongoing commitment to promote and implement environmentally friendly initiatives that have a positive impact on everyone who follows the Suns or visits US Airways Center.”

In addition to a financial incentive through the Renewable Incentive Program approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission, and safe interconnection to the grid, APS will provide supporting resources and expertise to the Suns organization and the city of Phoenix, which owns the arena. The 194-kilowatt AC solar energy system will be designed and installed by EI Solutions Inc., and financed and operated by Tioga Energy. The system will utilize 1,125 Suntech panels, will cover approximately 18,000 square feet and will produce 331,233 kilowatt-hours each year.

“We want to make Arizona the solar capital of the world, and clean solar energy will play a vital role in Arizona’s energy future,” said Don Brandt, APS president and CEO. “We got involved in this project because solar installations at large businesses make a tangible difference. Not only do they benefit the environment and the community, but they can also make good business sense.”

“Our goal for Phoenix is to become the first sustainable city of the 21st century. With this project, we have taken another step toward a sustainable downtown, powered by renewable energy sources,” said Mayor Phil Gordon. “Thanks to the Suns and APS, the US Airways Center solar project joins other large installations, such as the one at the Phoenix Convention Center, in reducing the city’s carbon footprint.”

For more information on APS solar programs and incentives, visit

Publication date:09/22/2008