2010 RANKINGS: Tucson, AZ is Top Alt Energy Metro

Business Facilities has announced the following rankings for the Tucson Region in its 2010 Rankings Report:

#1 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY INDUSTRY LEADERS: This category ranks the top 10 metros in overall leadership in alternative energy manufacturing, growth strategy and development of renewable energy. The magazine considers the Alternative Energy Industry Leaders ranking one of its most important “flagship” categories. Editors considered overall economic development strategy and growth potential as well as new project activity to determine its flagship ranking of alternative energy leaders.

“There were many worthy competitors for the top position in our first annual Alternative Energy Industry Leaders metro ranking, but Tucson was head-and-shoulders above everyone else,” said Business Facilities Editor-in-Chief Jack Rogers. Tucson, a global leader in solar energy manufacturing, earned the top spot with a highly coordinated strategy that brings together industry, higher education, effective incentives and sensible regulation, Rogers said.

“In addition to Tucson’s well-earned reputation as The Solar City, we were really impressed with this region’s intelligent approach to maximizing its resources,” Rogers said. “An aggressive and innovative economic development strategy combined with unlimited growth potential made this an easy choice.”

“This recognition reflects our success in working with local leaders and our utility customers to tap into southern Arizona’s abundant solar energy resources,” said Paul Bonavia, Chairman, President and CEO of Tucson Electric Power and its parent company, UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS). “This community has always been very receptive to our efforts to promote the use of renewable energy.”

“From research to student initiatives to the campus itself, the University of Arizona is a global leader in sustainability and conservation,” said UA President Robert N. Shelton. “Throughout the history of the UA, our entire campus community has fostered a commitment to a culture of conservation and innovation.”

TOP 10 METRO – ECONOMIC GROWTH POTENTIAL: Tucson’s alternative energy achievements — and its position as a leading player in the aerospace/defense manufacturing and an emerging hub for biotechnology — also made it a Top 10 Metro for Economic Growth Potential in Business Facilities’ annual rankings report. A benchmark ranking for economic development excellence, the magazine considers Economic Growth Potential to be a most important ranking, because it reflects not only what a location already has accomplished but what can be expected in coming years as a result of its development strategy.

“The Tucson region has received more than 25 positive national rankings over the last few years. Being number one as a solar leader in a highly-read economic development publication is an achievement Tucson can be proud of,” said Joe Snell, president & CEO, TREO.

Rogers also credited the Tucson region with playing a major role in Arizona’s Top 10 showing in Business Facilities’ State Ranking for Economic Growth Potential.

The Tucson rankings will appear in the annual Rankings Report cover feature of the July/August double-issue of Business Facilities, which will publish mid-August. Business Facilities is a national publication and has been leading location advisor for site selection professionals for more than 40 years.

Tucson’s status as The Solar City featured prominently in Business Facilities’ April cover story [Alternative Energy Arrives]. The alternative energy industry initiatives in the Arizona city also were detailed in two Industry Focus articles in the magazine’s July/August double-issue. Business Facilities’ article archives can be viewed online at businessfacilities.com.