New Arizona Corporation Commission Solar Rule Goes Against APS's Wishes

Published: Thursday, December 19, 2019 - 1:19pm
Updated: Friday, December 20, 2019 - 8:39am
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The Arizona Corporation Commission made headlines recently as the new CEO of APS’s parent company, Jeff Guldner, made a public apology to customers.

But, while most eyes were on Guldner at that hearing — and certainly most of the attention from news outlets — utility regulators also took a vote that stood in stark contrast to the wishes of both APS and Tucson Electric Power, a vote solar energy advocates hope will mark a lasting shift at the commission. The companies are now required to set 18-year contracts with renewable energy developers — a far cry from the two-year terms APS and TEP had requested.

In a statement to The Show, an APS spokesperson said the decision was disappointing because it ignored significant evidence that extended contracts would cost utility customers more money. She added the long-term contracts would make it more difficult to respond to changes in technology and energy markets, and APS is reviewing next steps.

On the other side of this argument is Court Rich. He’s with the Renewable Energy Department for Rose Law Group and sits on the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association board. The Show caught up with him to break down why he thinks this matters to the utilities and to customers.

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