Joe Hernandez, left, and Jason Tasker are reflected in two of 60 solar heating panels on the rooftop of the Beardsley Recreation Center in Sun City West on Thursday afternoon. The two are working for Tempe-based Carlson Solar Technologies. After being approached by Sun City West management, the company suggested installing a solar array for the center’s heating needs. Water, room temperature and the Olympic-sized swimming pool will all utilize the sun’s energy for a smaller carbon footprint and a cheaper natural gas bill. Mike Scalia of Carlson Solar says the panels complete the largest thermal pool heating system in Arizona. All together, he estimates that the center will save about $16,000-$17,000 a month. “Thermal really is the best way to heat water,” Scalia said. “The Valley just gets so much sun.”

Photos by Dave Martinez/Daily News-Sun

Farmington, N.M. • Citing the impact in their own state, some New Mexico officials are urging Arizona utility deregulators to shelve their consideration of deregulating retail electricity sales.

San Juan County commissioners and Farmington Mayor Tommy Roberts have written separate but similar letters to the Arizona Corporation Commission.

They say deregulation by Arizona could disrupt plans for the Four Corners Power Plant and damage the economies of the county and the Navajo Nation.

Arizona Public Service Co. operates Four Corners and owns parts of the coal-fired plant located near Farmington.

Corporation Commission Executive Secretary Jodi Jerich told The Daily Times ( that the commission is aware of the concerns and will not drag its feet.

She said the commission likely will hold a public meeting on the topic by early October.

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