Grijalva tours Tucson solar company

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- With an average of 350 days of sunshine a year, the City of Tucson likes to tout its commitment to solar energy.

Monday Congressman Raul Grijalva made the latest push for renewable power, as he toured one local solar company.

Under the hot Tucson sun.

"There's only one place in the entire world that gets more solar energy than the desert southwest in the United States, and that's the Sahara Desert," said Jeff Britt from Global Solar CEO.

It seems only fitting the Old Pueblo would take advantage of its non-stop rays.

"We're out here in 110 degree weather today.  It is a resource that is available to us.  It's abundant," said Grijalva.

As he toured Global Solar Monday, Congressman Raul Grijalva talked about the importance of using federal funds to advance renewable energy projects.

"If we're going to be competitive, if we're going to be able to utilize this great source of energy, then the federal government needs to have a role in it," said Grijalva.

The call comes at a critical time. In an attempt to slash spending, conservatives in congress have placed the department of energy's loan guarantee program on the chopping block. Grijalva says it's a bad idea.

"We feel as we go through these budget issues that the investments shouldn't get cut.  That they will pay dividends," said Grijalva.

That includes cleaner air and more jobs.

"It creates jobs and this is the new technology, this is the new workforce of the future," said Grijalva.

"It's going to make us independent, its going to free us from some of the fluctuations and energy prices, we're going to have more reliable energy that we can count on," said Jeff Britt from Global Solar.

Grijalva admits it won't happen overnight.

"No one is saying that tomorrow morning we quit using fossil fuels as our only source of energy," said Grijalva.

But little by little, they hope to shine a light on the benefits of a solar powered society.

Global Solar employs about 150 people for now, but CEO Jeff Britt says he'd like to expand. The only way that's going to happen is with the help of federal funding.