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Senators Want Update on SolarCity Investigations
Senators Want Update on SolarCity Investigation
Ryan Randazzo, The Republic | azcentral.com 2:38 p.m. MST November 23, 2015
Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain want an update on a federal investigation into whether SolarCity Corp. and other solar installers inflated the price of solar projects to increase federal subsidies.
Flake, McCain and seven other Republican senators sent a letter Nov. 13 to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew saying they are concerned with the program that offers 30 percent federal tax credits for solar.
They cited an Oct. 30 regulatory filing from SolarCity indicating the company has received about $501 million through the program, and could have to repay some of the funds based on the investigation.
SolarCity is the largest installer of rooftop solar panels in Arizona.
"Based on the information available, we remain concerned that the ... cash grant program and the administration of the investment tax credits lack sufficient transparency, oversight and enforcement to protect taxpayers," the senators wrote.
Months Before Solar-Rates Case is Heard, a Fight for Public Support
Months Before Solar-Rates Case is Heard, a Fight for Public Support Ryan Randazzo, The Republic | azcentral.com 9:54 a.m. MST November 20, 2015
Arguments are starting to take shape ahead of an APS rate case that could affect solar power rules.
As Arizona's biggest utility prepares for a rate case next year, the company and rooftop-solar advocates are beginning to unleash some of the arguments they will use to try to persuade regulators to change the rules for solar on homes.
Arizona Public Service Co. will propose changes to the system of net metering, under which homeowners with solar panels are paid retail credit for most of the power they send to the grid throughout the year, or about 14 cents per kilowatt hour. APS pays wholesale rates for any power credits left over at the end of the year.
Rooftop-solar groups oppose any changes that will slow their business. On Thursday, rooftop solar-leasing firms released a study by a former Arizona water department director that said rooftop solar is important for conserving water amid a drought and climate change.
Meanwhile, APS shared a presentation showing the meager contributions rooftop solar made to the power grid during the hottest time of the year, when the utility hit an all-time demand record from customers cranking up their air conditioners. The presentation is likely to be a critical part of the APS net-metering decision.
Other interested parties are not going to stand on the sidelines. The companies that build large, centralized solar-power plants contend that their projects are a more cost-effective way to increase the use of renewable energy and save water. They don't want to see so many subsidies for rooftop solar that utilities refrain from developing large renewable power plants.
November 20, 2015/PHOENIX– Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) announces an “all source” request for proposals (RFP) through which it will seek capacity resources to meet APS system peak load. The RFP is tentatively scheduled to be released in March of 2016.
APS is seeking between 400-600 megawatts (MW) of capacity. This RFP is open to all technologies, including supply side and non-supply side resources. Proposals must demonstrate that projects can begin deliveries no later than June 1, 2020, with deliveries beginning no sooner than January 2020. The entire RFP process will be monitored and reviewed by a third-party independent monitor.
Last week, Royal Bank of Canada announced it has completed the acquisition of City National Corporation for the total transaction value of US$ 5.0 billion. Combining RBC's US Wealth Management unit with City National will create a powerful expansion platform for RBC's long-term growth in the US.
PHOENIX — A new Arizona Supreme Court ruling could pave the way for rich corporations to buy up water rights and leave communities in the state with no say in the matter, officials say.
Without dissent, the high court concluded Thursday that only “interested parties” have a right to protest the transfer of water and water rights from one area to another. The justices said the desire of cities and counties in preventing the transfer, whether to protect tax proceeds or ensure future water supplies, does not make them “interested parties” with the right to intercede.
Mohave County Supervisor Steven Moss said the ruling has significant implications that go far beyond his county’s legal fight.
“They stated that, under the statute, whether it’s in the ‘public interest’ or not, or whether it hurts the public or not, doesn’t matter,” he said of the ruling. “I really don’t think that is a decision that should make any resident of Arizona happy.”
Moss pointed out that Arizona remains deep in a multiyear drought.
“That means people are going to be looking to mine water,” Moss said. “They’re going to be looking for transfer from one point to the other.”
“And that means there are going to be winners and losers.”
Moss said the winners are likely to be those with money.