Yesterday, Arizona Rep Gabrielle Giffords attended three solar events to promote solar development in her state. The first event took place at Global Solar, located in Tuscon, where Giffords toured the facility along with Cathy Zoi, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for the U.S. Department of Energy.From there, the two visited several projects underway on the University of Arizona (UA) campus including the Energy Frontier Research Center, where they received an update on an algae to biofuel project and met with Dr. Roger Angel who has developed a telescope mirror and is currently researching concentrated photovoltaic power for solar electricity production.
The events culminated in a wide-ranging discussion about the future of solar energy held at the university’s student union. Giffords and Zoi were joined during this event by UA President Robert Shelton and UA’s VP for Research, Leslie Tolbert. During the discussion, Shelton called the congresswoman a “passionate advocate” for solar energy and praised her “assertive agenda” for advancing the use of solar through various pieces of legislation.
Giffords noted that Arizona has all the elements needed to become a leader in solar energy including ample sun, large tracts of land and numerous skilled workers.
This was Zoi’s first trip to Tuscon and she left impressed with the solar work underway in the state and stated that she was “completely wowed” with Dr. Angel’s research. She also noted that her day was “a magic moment” in DC for the advancement of renewable energy and concluded that it is “a perfect storm of opportunity”.