Current Utility News
Current News

AIC Briefs

 

Letter of Opposition to AG-1 Extension
Monday, 8 December 2014

AIC Comments on 111(d)
Tuesday, 2 December 2014

AIC Four Corners Surrebuttal
Monday, 21 July 2014

AIC Testimony on Four Corners
Friday, 20 June 2014

AIC Testimony on UNS/Fortis Settlement
Monday, 2 June 2014

AIC Letter on Net Metering
Monday, 4 November 2013

Deregulation Responsive Comments
Thursday, 17 October 2013

Deregulation Comments
Wednesday, 9 October 2013


Conferences

Click the links below to watch the upcoming debate or watch the archived debated.

debate-webcast-july2014

 

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A Rooftop Solar Proposal That Should End the Debate
A Rooftop Solar Proposal That Should End the Debate
Rob1Robert Robb, The Republic | azcentral.com 3:57 p.m. MST March 31, 2015 -- Tucson Electric Power has made a proposal regarding rooftop solar that, if the members of the Arizona Corporation Commission have their wits about them, should be the end of a very contentious discussion.
 
Rooftop solar owners are both buyers and sellers of electricity. When their systems generate more power than they use, they sell the excess to their utility. When they consume more power than their systems generate, they buy electricity from the utility.
 
The key to making regulatory sense of the situation is to treat rooftop solar owners completely separately as buyers and sellers. As buyers of electricity, rooftop solar owners are no different than any other residential customer.
 
 
But they are different than other residential customers in their function as sellers of excess electricity. There, the issue should be what they are paid for their surplus power by the monopoly utility.
 
Until recently, rooftop solar owners got a kilowatt-for-kilowatt credit against the power they bought for the excess power they generated. That amounted to receiving a retail price for what is clearly wholesale power. It's a subsidy and a pretty steep one.
Read more...
 
TEP Proposes Change in Payments for New Solar Customers
TEPSLRTEP Proposes Change in Payments for New Solar Customers
Ryan Randazzo, The Republic | azcentral.com 11:16 a.m. MST March 30, 2015
 
Tucson Electric Power last week asked utility regulators to alter the way solar customers are paid for the excess power they send to the grid.
 
The filing comes on the heels of Salt River Project's recent vote to raise fees on solar customers an average of about $50 a month, mostly through a new demand charge based on the highest peak usage during a month.
 
And TEP's filing comes ahead of an anticipated filing from Arizona Public Service Co., which imposed fees of about $5 a month on new solar customers after a 2013 vote, which the utility considered inadequate.
 
Like SRP and APS, the Tucson utility is concerned that customers who are paid full retail credit for their excess solar electricity most of the year are not paying for all of the services they recieve from the power grid.
 
TEP proposes that anyone applying to interconnect solar panels in the utility territory after June 1 would be affected by the new rates, which would result in a $22-a-month reduction in the money they save with solar. TEP said in its announcement that customers installing a standard 6-kilowatt array would still save more than $80 a month on average.
 
Unlike SRP's recent proposal, TEP is not threatening to impose changes on the existing solar customers, which number about 7,900 in the territory. SRP proposed raising rates in a decade on its estimated 15,000 solar customers, but its board voted to allow them to keep their current rate plan for as long as 20 years, the length of most solar leases.
Read more...
 
APS Solar Plant Built Near Phoenix Landfill
APS Solar Plant Built Near Phoenix Landfill
Posted: Mar 27, 2015 4:48 PM
By Steve Krafft, FOX 10 News
 
BUCKEYE, Ariz. -  The City of Phoenix has teamed up with Arizona Public Service to put a solar plant in a most unlikely place.APS
 
It's next to where the city dumped its trash west of the valley off State Route 85.
 
Tens of thousands of solar panels are being installed.
 
As we all know there are some 300 days of sun a year in the Valley of the Sun, it is a prime place for solar projects.
Read more...
 
My View: SRP Changes Will Benefit All Customers
My View: SRP Changes Will Benefit All Customers
BonsallMark Bonsall, Contributing Writer/Phoenix Business Journal: Mar 27, 2015, 3:00am MST -- At Salt River Project, we recently concluded a challenging process to change our prices. Our primary objectives are always to balance the interests of all of our customers, to keep prices as low as possible, and to continue to maintain reliable electric service to the communities we serve. The final decision by the SRP board meets these objectives.
 
Key to the board’s action was a moderate price increase, measuring an average 3.9 percent — our first in more than two years. We are proud that over the past 30 years SRP has kept price increases well below the rate of inflation. The result is a price to our customers that is among the lowest in the region. To moderate the impact of this increase, the board decided to phase it in, reducing the increase for the summer of 2015, so that the effective increase for this summer is 3.2 percent.
 
The board also approved changes to how we price our services for customers who choose to generate their own electricity, either with solar or other means. These changes will only affect new customers since Dec. 8, 2014, who choose to generate a portion of their own electricity. The board decided that all of our existing customers with rooftop solar, roughly 15,000, would be grandfathered in, allowing them to remain on their current rate plan for 20 years from the date they installed their systems. The ongoing subsidy to these customers amounts to about $10 million per year.
Read more...
 
Forget Utility 2.0 - The Power Sector Needs 'Regulation of the Future'
Forget Utility 2.0—the Power Sector Needs ‘Regulation of the Future’
greentechJulia Pyper 
March 23, 2015/www.greentechmedia.com
 
New technologies and financial innovation have launched an era of consumer choice and control in the power sector the likes of which the industry has never seen before.
 
Solar panels, smart meters, energy storage, electric vehicles and microgrids are transforming the distribution grid and spurring debates around a model for “utility 2.0.” But while technology is stimulating change, policy drove the conversation at a meeting of electricity industry leaders last week, hosted by the Edison Foundation's Institute for Electric Innovation.
 
“Let’s not have another discussion about grid of the future -- utility 2.0, utility 3.0,” said Lawrence Jones, vice president of utility innovations and infrastructure resilience at Alstom.
 
There’s little value in designing a new technical model for the electrical grid, without a clear understanding of the system in which the technical model will operate, he said.
 
“We agree today we will no longer write another report [referencing the] ‘utility of the future,’” said Jones. “What we need now is 'regulation of the future.'”
 
So what does "regulation 2.0" look like?
Read more...
 
TEP Proposes More Equitable Credits for New Solar Power System Users
TEP Proposes More Equitable Credits for New Solar Power System UsersTEP
March 25, 2015 12:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time
 
TUCSON, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has proposed a new net metering plan to ensure that customers who install new rooftop solar power systems pay a more equitable price for their electric service while still enjoying significant bill savings.
 
Users of rooftop solar power systems rely just as heavily on TEP’s electrical system as other customers – more heavily, even, since TEP must manage their systems’ intermittent output. But they pay far less for TEP service under current rates, due in part to net metering rules that allow them to exchange excess solar energy for free, on-demand utility power.
 
TEP is proposing instead to purchase excess solar output from new rooftop systems at the same price it pays for energy from large local solar arrays. The resulting bill credits would allow customers to reduce their electric bills by going solar, even as they pay the same price as other customers for the energy they use from TEP.
 
“Our proposal will allow the continued expansion of southern Arizona’s solar energy resources while preserving safe, reliable and affordable electric service at more equitable prices for all of our customers,” said David G. Hutchens, TEP’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Read more...
 
APS Power Grid Has Endured 9 Minor Acts of Sabotage in Recent Years
APS Power Grid Has Endured 9 Minor Acts of Sabotage in Recent Years
www.azcentral.com/11:54 p.m. MST March 24, 2015 -- More than 350 physical or cyber attacks have been recorded in recent years on the nation's power grid, including nine acts of sabotage on equipment owned by Arizona Public Service Co., according to records obtained by USA Today and The Arizona Republic.
 
Power GridThe nine incidents recorded in reports to the U.S. Department of Energy involving APS equipment all took place in 2013-14, and officials at the utility said they were mostly in rural areas.
 
None is thought to be any more serious than vandalism, said Ted Geisler, APS director of power operations.
 
"In no case was there an impact to customers," Geisler said. "We don't feel in any case there was an impact to reliability."
 
Salt River Project did not report any incidents.
Read more...
 
Innovative Thinking Spurs Water Deal
Innovative Thinking Spurs Water Deal
waterEditorial board, The Republic | azcentral.com 9:06 p.m. MST March 22, 2015 -- Until now, all the tools in Arizona's toolbox for combating the effects of prolonged drought have been government-owned.
 
But it's not just officialdom that is slowly going dry. The state's dwindling supply of its most precious resource is a problem for private companies as well as the public sector.
 
A historic partnership between the state's publicly owned supplier of Colorado River water and a private water company in the West Valley appears to be an innovative attempt to expand Arizona's toolkit for fighting off the effects of drought.
 
As part of a deal approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission, the private company, Liberty Utilities, will recharge about 78 billion gallons of treated effluent into the West Valley's aquifer. This will help Liberty and the Central Arizona Project meet their obligations under the 1980 Groundwater Management Act.
 
With financial help up front from CAP, the private water company will construct an $8 million recharge facility near Luke Air Force Base. The Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District, an arm of CAP, will pay $6 million of that cost.
Read more...
 
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