Statement from Sonoran Institute on EPA Clean Power Plan Final Rule

Large-scale solar puts Arizona on track to meet EPA targets

PHOENIX (August 3, 2015) – The U.S. EPA releases its final rule on the nationwide Clean Power Plan. The Sonoran Institute will be releasing a study showing the great potential of large-scale solar and how the state of Arizona can lead the way.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is releasing its final rule regulating carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generating plants.

Arizona is in a great position to meet these final federal targets with solar energy projects already being planned.  Accelerating solar and other renewable energy ultimately will give consumers more stable rates, contribute to a healthier environment, and strengthen Arizona’s economy.

In September, the Sonoran Institute will be releasing a study that shows that large-scale solar can do far more in meeting the EPA’s emissions targets than originally envisioned in the rule. Arizona has 15 solar sites that have completed or are already in the permitting process. They are “shovel ready” now or will be within the range of the EPA rule deadlines. Additionally, Arizona has a diverse land portfolio of potentially suitable parcels that could accommodate other large-scale projects.

The Sonoran Institute estimates that large-scale solar projects with more than 4,800 megawatts of capacity could come on line to help meet both 2022 interim and 2030 final targets under the rule—enough ultimately to power 3.8 million homes in Arizona.

We need to keep in mind that the EPA’s rule reflects changes that are already happening, driven by more efficient and lower cost solar and wind technologies that are being embraced by consumers and businesses.

The EPA, in granting extra time to states to put together their plans and meet the rule’s interim goals, has been responsive to concerns raised about the feasibility of implementing the rule.

John Shepard, Senior Director, Programs, Sonoran Institute

The Sonoran Institute is a nonprofit organization that inspires and enables community decisions and public policies that respect the land and people of western North America. Join us throughout 2015 in celebrating a landmark 25 Years Strong, Shaping the Future of the West. For more information, visit