2014 Annual Report


25 Years Strong, Shaping Our West

For over 25 years, Sonoran Institute has been a pioneer in efforts to unite and celebrate the best of Western culture, history, nature and urban spaces by making connections, seeking practical solutions and promoting long-term sustainability. View and download our 2014 Annual Report to see all that we've done up through 2014 and what we plan on doing as we move forward.

2040 Vision

  Stategic Framework Cover

Strategic Framework

For the last 25 years, we have been successfully helping people in the West build the communities they want to live in while preserving the West that brought them here. Discover our vision for our next 25 years. 

Our Letter to You

Read our 2040 Vision 

Contacts - Energy

John Shepard
Senior Director of Programs

502-290-0828 x 1108

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Home Western Issues Energy Solar Energy

Solar Energy



Sonoran Solar

NextEra’s Sonoran Solar project is a proposed 300MW solar photovoltaic energy plant that would be built on BLM land north of the Sonoran Desert National Monument. The Sonoran Institute is working with the developer and other groups to mitigate the project’s environmental impact. For more information:


Abengoa Solana is a 250MW concentrated solar thermal power plant that is under construction on private (formerly agricultural) land west of Gila Bend, Arizona. Because of its location on already disturbed lands, proximity to existing transmission, and extensive community outreach during the planning process, the Sonoran Institute was an early supporter of the project. For more information about Solana, go to:


The Sonoran Institute supports federal, state, and local policies that facilitate solar development in areas with the best solar resources and the fewest environmental impacts. Ideally, it is concentrated in already disturbed areas near existing transmission lines and other infrastructure.

Survey of Arizona Siting Stakeholders

Sonoran Institute commissioned K. R. Saline and Associates, PLC, to conduct interviews of stakeholders in the Arizona power plant and transmission line siting process. The purpose of the survey was to obtain stakeholders’ comments on the current siting process—where it functions well, where it could function better, and what particular improvements could be made, specifically through reform of the siting statutes. Read the report here.


Arizona Group Comments on BLM Solar PEIS, 5/2/11

Restoration Design Energy Project

The Bureau of Land Management's Restoration Design Energy Project (RDEP), funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, supports the Secretary of Interior's goals to build America's new energy future and to protect and restore treasured landscapes. Read more.

Arizona Solar Working Group

Applying its land-use expertise, the Sonoran Institute is working with a range of stakeholders as the Arizona Solar Working Group to identify where large-scale solar plants can be located with minimal impacts on the environment. The group will lend support to those projects that will be built on suitable lands. We are looking at siting opportunities on US Bureau of Land Management lands, state trust lands, and private lands.

Western Clean Energy Advocates

The Sonoran Institute is a member of Western Clean Energy Advocates (WCEA), a diverse coalition working to transform the way energy is produced, used and distributed across the West. WCEA has released a Clean Energy Vision for the West that shows how clean energy can revitalize the economies of every western state. Click here for more information.


The Sonoran Institute has developed a series of fact sheets that explores how Arizona can best capitalize on its solar potential. Please click on the fact sheet you are interested in to view and/or download. Enjoy. 

Arizonas Solar Energy Future - An Overview

Solar Energy For Arizona - A Look At Available Technologies

Solar Energy and Water: Can We Have Both? Cooling for Solar Thermal Power Systems

The Importance of Scale - Utility-scale vs. Distributed

Emerging Solar Technologies: Searching for Solar Power's Holy Grail



Arizona Clean Energy Future Conference