Bank’s carports to provide solar energy for area homes

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - National Bank of Arizona (NBA), SolarCity and First Solar announced plans to build a 222 kilowatt (DC) solar installation in Phoenix, which will be the city’s second largest commercial solar installation to date.

The project, comprising two carport-mounted solar systems, will be the first commercial solar installation in Phoenix to utilize Tempe-based First Solar’s advanced thin film modules. SolarCity’s Phoenix office expects to complete the installation later this summer.

¬ďNational Bank of Arizona¬ís solar systems will leverage Arizona technology, installed by Arizona workers to turn Arizona sunlight into electricity for an Arizona business,¬Ē said Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. ¬ďThis project is a great step toward a greener Phoenix and demonstrates our city¬ís potential as a leader in solar power generation.¬Ē

The solar systems will consist of 2,960 First Solar modules, and sit atop the carports in the parking lot at National Bank of Arizona’s headquarters on 24th St. in the Biltmore area of Phoenix.

The systems will be expected to produce more than 350,000 kilowatt-hours of solar electricity annually, enough to power approximately 20-30 Phoenix-area homes.

¬ďWe felt that adopting solar power was one of the smartest things we could do as a company,¬Ē said Keith Maio, president of National Bank of Arizona. ¬ďIt¬ís an investment in sustainability that reflects our commitment to Arizona. It also helps our bottom line. The solar systems will provide clean electricity equivalent to that needed to power 20 to 30 homes for the next 30 years.¬Ē

The project was made possible, in part, thanks to an incentive from the Salt River Project (SRP) EarthWise Solar Energy program.

¬ďWe are pleased that SRP¬ís EarthWise Solar incentive program could help to make this project happen,¬Ē said Lori Singleton, SRP manager of Sustainable Initiatives and Technologies. ¬ďNational Bank is to be commended for their leadership in using Arizona¬ís sun to generate clean energy for this facility.¬Ē

First Solar’s advanced, thin film modules are well suited for the project, as they perform well in Arizona’s high heat. The First Solar systems should allow NBA to offset the emission of more than 11 million pounds of greenhouse gases over its lifetime, the equivalent of planting more than 6,400 trees, or taking more than 1,400 cars off the road for a year.

¬ďWe¬íve worked very hard, with partners like SolarCity, to make solar power more affordable,¬Ē said Lorraine Paskett, First Solar¬ís vice president of policy and market development. ¬ďIt¬ís very exciting and rewarding to see a fellow Arizona business adopt our technology.¬Ē

SolarCity will handle design, permitting and installation, and will provide National Bank of Arizona with an Internet kiosk for its headquarters lobby, connected to SolarCity’s SolarGuard monitoring system. The kiosk will allow bank employees and customers to view live data showing how much electricity the system generates, how much pollution it prevents and how much money it saves.

"NBA¬ís decision is a reflection of the changing economics of solar,¬Ē said Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity. ¬ďWe expect NBA¬ís solar installation to serve as a blueprint for other area companies seeking to take advantage of Arizona¬ís tremendous solar potential.¬Ē

National Bank’s Maio will join Mayor Gordon, SolarCity’s Rive and First Solar’s Paskett to unveil a rendering of the project and answer questions from guests at a small groundbreaking ceremony at NBA headquarters today. NBA customers, journalists and citizens interested in learning more about First Solar panels for their home or business are invited to attend.


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