What an exciting time! It seems that nearly every day when I open the newspaper, there are more and more advancements with solar energy. The last major news announcement was about the advancement of the solar industry bill, 1403, to attract new solar energy related companies to the state. The passing of this bill has the potential to position Arizona as a hub for companies involved with solar energy. The latest major announcement this week is that Arizona was among ten states to be awarded 50% of an approved $55 million of their American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds through the State Energy Program. A variety of proposed programs will advance energy efficiency and renewable energy in Arizona, including solar energy projects. Among many programs, the grants and loans will help make government buildings more energy efficient; reduce energy consumption in Arizona schools; advance the development of renewable energy systems on high profile buildings and public spaces; and offer further incentives for solar energy users. It is not clear which of these projects will receive immediate attention; however the objective of the ARRA is to stimulate private investment, create jobs, and speed economic recovery. Let’s hope the approval of these funds will not only do just that but also put us on a stronger path to energy independence!