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The Sonoran Institute is committed to helping communities in the West move to a clean, safe, and reliable energy future in a manner that supports local prosperity and quality of life. We are working on many fronts to make these goals reality, from identification of appropriate sites for renewable energy generation and transmission to ensuring that the public is meaningfully engaged in the planning processes. Throughout our work, we strive to provide all stakeholders with the information and resources needed to advance a sustainable energy future for the West.
Abundant sunlight, vast tracts of flat land, and a mandate for renewable energy: all signs point to a remarkable opportunity for Arizona to become the solar capital of the United States and, in practical terms, the world. The Sonoran Institute is partnering with other organizations to determine what locations are most suitable for solar energy development. Learn more about specific solar projects on which we are working and policy initiatives that will encourage appropriate siting for solar development in Arizona and the West. Also, view a series of fact sheets and other educational resources that explore how Arizona can best capitalize on its solar potential.
Capitalizing on the West’s renewable energy resources will require significant enhancements to the transmission grid system, as well as new lines to deliver these resources to the markets the purchasing markets. While utilizing existing infrastructure is always preferable, there will be instances that require new lines to extend across hundreds of miles and multiple states. The Sonoran Institute is working with numerous stakeholders to determine where enhancements to existing lines are needed and where newly built lines can be suitably located. Additionally, the institute is promoting environmentally sensitive transmission infrastructure policies that also encourage renewable energy development. Finally, we strive to provide new tools and information that helps engage the public in transmission planning so proposed projects better reflect and preserve community values.
Visit our resources page for lists of publications, presentations, conferences, and tools that provide background and direction for renewable energy in the West.
The Sonoran Institute has joined Western Clean Energy Advocates (WCEA), a coalition of industry, environmental, and economic development groups that is working across the West to accelerate the transition to clean and secure energy resources, and away from coal and gas.
WCEA has launched the Clean Energy Vision Project as a starting point for public discussion surrounding energy choices in the West.