Blessed with lots of sunshine, Arizona is a great place to install solar panels. Thanks to a pro-business climate and its close proximity to big markets, like California, the state is turning out to be a great place to make solar panels, too.
Consider that the two world's two biggest solar panel manufacturers have Arizona-based operations: thin-film maker First Solar has long called Tempe home, while Suntech, a China-based company, opened shop in the Phoenix area last October. All told, Arizona is home to more than 100 "significant solar energy businesses," according to PV Magazine.
The uptick in business has been welcomed. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession, many governors took up job creation as a top priority. Perhaps more than in any other state, Arizona officials have enacted policies intended to encourage renewable energy companies to set up instate operations.