Current Utility News
Current News

AIC Briefs

AIC Letter Opposing Recommended Dismissal of APS Solar Tariff
Tuesday, 11 August 2015

AIC Intervention in UNS-Electric Rate Case
Tuesday, 21 July 2015

AIC Supports APS Net Metering Cost Shift Solution
Friday, 05 June 2015

AIC Supports TEP Net Metering Tariff
Monday, 1 June 2015

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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Sun City Lawmaker to Run for Corporation Commission
Sun City Lawmaker to Run for Corporation Commission

By: Rachel Leingang azcapitoltimes.com August 13, 2015 , 5:18 pm

Rick GrayRep. Rick Gray, R-Sun City, is running for a seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Gray filed paperwork today to run for the office.

He said he’s been eyeing a seat on the Corporation Commission for quite some time and the decisions made by the commission have had a “tremendous impact” on his legislative district.

“It’s very important to make sure our utility rates are kept at the best rates possible, for both the customers and the utilities,” Gray said.

He said he will be running with incumbent Commissioner Bob Burns and is hoping to run with current Chairman Susan Bitter Smith as well. Burns and Susan Bitter Smith ran together with commissioner Bob Stump in 2012. Stump is termed out at the end of his current term.

Read more...
 
TEP to End Use of Coal, Switch Primarily to Natural Gas at Tucson Power Plant
TEP to End Use of Coal, Switch Primarily to Natural Gas at Tucson Power Plant

TEP Logo  TUCSON, Ariz.--August 13, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE)-- Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is ending the use of coal at its largest local power plant as part of a plan to diversify the resources it relies on to provide safe, reliable and affordable service.

The coal inventory at the H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station is expected to be depleted today. The last remaining chunks will be pulverized and fed into the boiler of Unit 4, a multi-fuel unit that now will rely primarily on natural gas, supplemented by renewable landfill gas and a unique “solar boost” system.

“Eliminating the local use of coal is an important part of our plan to build a cleaner, more diverse energy portfolio,” said David G. Hutchens, TEP’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Sundt power plant has been a focus of changing federal energy and environmental policy. In July 1982, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) ordered that all four units at the natural gas-fired plant be converted to burn coal pursuant to the Power Plant and Industrial Fuel Use Act of 1978, which sought to preserve domestic supplies of natural gas during the energy crisis. That law was repealed in 1987, though, and the DOE later rescinded its order after TEP had completed the conversion of Unit 4.

Read more...
 
Brnovich Says Power Plant Cuts Will Hurt Consumers
Brnovich Says Power Plant Cuts Will Hurt Consumers

coal

AZ Daily Star/tucson.com August 08, 2015 6:41 pm  •  By Tony Davis
 
Arizona’s attorney general is joining 15 other states in asking that the federal government hold off on its new rule to clean up power plant emissions until courts rule on its legality.
 
For that, Attorney General Mark Brnovich is being accused by an environmentalist of acting prematurely, because the state’s environmental agency and some of its largest utilities haven’t finished reviewing the new Clean Power Plan.
 
Brnovich and the other attorneys general are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to put a formal stay on the plan while it goes through the courts. The Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing this request, an agency spokeswoman said.
 
In an emailed response to questions, the Arizona attorney general said he doesn’t need experts at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality or elsewhere to tell him that the new plan will raise consumers’ electricity costs while dramatically restricting utilities’ choices of power options and putting burdens on them.
Read more...
 
Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emmissions Affects Environment, Economy - and Cost of Power
Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions Affects Environment, Economy — and Cost of Power

azcentral.com Bill Theobald, Republic Washington Bureau 11:53 a.m. MST August 7, 2015

planWASHINGTON – It will take a while to determine just how Arizonans will be affected by the historic regulation issued by the Environmental Protection Agency requiring a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

After all, the regulation runs more than 1,500 pages, and that doesn’t count the additional 1,000 pages of supporting documents plus data files that outline the Clean Power Plan and its goal of a one-third reduction in emissions by 2030.

But Arizona utilities, regulators, environmental groups and others agree that the plan, which already is facing legal and congressional challenges, will have a significant impact on how much electricity costs and how it is generated.

In addition, the issue could play a role in two of Arizona’s congressional elections next year.

Under the final rule announced Aug. 3, Arizona is required to reduce its power plant carbon emissions by 34 percent by 2030, from 2005 levels.

In response to objections raised by Arizona officials, the EPA lowered the state’s goal from 52 percent. While pleased with that reduction, utility officials predicted the requirement would boost electric rates, although they said it was too early to offer specifics.

Officials at the Salt River Project, which provides electricity to about 1 million customers in the Phoenix area, predicted in a statement that “compliance may be challenging and potentially costly for the utilities and its customers.”

Patrick Ledger, CEO of Arizona Electric Generation and Transmission Cooperatives, with about a half-million customers in Arizona and New Mexico, said the new plan is still being analyzed. But he said he is concerned consumers will face higher rates to pay for reducing emissions from existing plants or to buy electricity from renewable sources.

 

Read more...
 
Judge: No Urgent Need to Consider APS Solar Rate Increase
Judge: No Urgent Need to Consider APS Solar Rate Increase

By: Rachel Leingang and Luige del Puerto  azcapitoltimes.com August 4, 2015 , 6:00 pm

Solar

An administrative law judge has concluded that Arizona Public Service hasn’t “established an urgent need” for addressing any cost shift attributed to rooftop solar outside of a rate case.
 
APS is asking the Arizona Corporation Commission to increase its monthly solar fee to $21 on average from $5 to address cost shifts, which the utility insists are the result of solar customers not paying their fair share to maintain the electrical grid.
 
Solar advocacy groups like The Alliance for Solar Choice and the Solar Energy Industries Association have repeatedly called on the Corporation Commission to consider APS’s request to increase the fee in a planned 2016 rate case and not in a separate proceeding.  The utility claims that costs are mounting and they need to be addressed as soon as possible.
 
But Administrative Law Judge Teena Jibilian recommended to commissioners that addressing solar costs outside of a rate case would be “severely limited in scope.”
 
“There is little regulatory wisdom in undertaking a proceeding that is severely handicapped from the beginning in the way of possible solutions to a problem that can be readily addressed in a rate case, which will be filed in less than one year,” Jibilian wrote.
Read more...
 
Reaching for the Sun Just Got More Expensive
Reaching for the Sun Just Got More Expensive

Editorial board, The Republic | azcentral.com 6:58 p.m. MST August 3, 2015

Our View: APS and other utilities were on track to hit state renewable energy goals. Then this happened.

The good news for Arizona’s utilities is that they’re on target to hit the state’s goal for renewable energy.

The tough news: That goal is about to move a lot higher.

The Arizona Corporation Commission wants state-regulated utilities to get 15 percent of their electricity from solar, wind and other renewable sources by 2015. It expected them to be at 6 percent by next year.

They all report they’ll be there. But it looks like a power greater than the Corporation Commission is about to shake things up. The EPA’s Clean Power Plan will require the nation as a whole to use considerably more renewable energy, and there’s no way to get there without sunny Arizona stepping up its game.

Read more...
 
Final Clean Power Plan Appears to go Easier on Arizona than Expected
Final Clean Power Plan Appears to go Easier on Arizona Than Expected

By: Rachel Leingang azcapitoltimes.com August 3, 2015 , 4:43 pm 

power-lines-620
The Obama administration today announced its ambitious rule to curb climate change and cut carbon emissions by 32 percent in the next 15 years.
 
Arizona officials are still analyzing the Environmental Protection Agency’s 1,560-page final Clean Power Plan, though it appears the final rule lessens the targets for the state and brings them more in line with the region.
 
The draft of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan called for Arizona to reduce its carbon emissions by 52 percent by 2030, the second-highest percentage reduction of any state. Under the proposed rule, the majority of the reduction would need to be met by 2020.
 
The final rule appears to show a 2030 goal in the 30 percent range for Arizona, more in line with neighboring states and in the middle of the pack nationwide, though it’s not clear how changes to the rule could affect Arizona utilities. The rule also pushes out the interim goal to 2022, giving the states two additional years to comply. Other states, like Ohio and West Virginia, saw harsher final goals than originally proposed.
 
While announcing the plan at the White House Monday, President Barack Obama said the world needs to act meaningfully and quickly on climate change before it’s too late, and the Clean Power Plan should inspire other countries to follow the U.S.’s lead.
 
“We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change. We’re the last generation that can do something about it. We only get one home. We only get one planet. There’s no Plan B,” Obama said.
 
The EPA’s Clean Power Plan will cut carbon emissions by 32 percent nationwide by 2030, a bigger decrease than the 30 percent the agency initially proposed.
 
Critics have said the plan will increase costs for energy while decreasing electrical reliability, potentially leading to brown-outs during peak summer energy usage.
 
Obama called the criticisms of the EPA’s plan “scaremongering” and said plans to curb acid rain and improve fuel standards for cars have been successful, despite claims from opposition that jobs and the economy would suffer.
 
“Here’s the thing: We’ve heard these same stale arguments before. Every time America has made progress, it’s been despite these kind of claims,” Obama said.
Read more...
 
TEP Analyzing Impact of New Carbon Dioxide Emission Limits for Power Plants
TEP Analyzing Impact of New Carbon Dioxide Emission Limits for Power Plants 
TEP Logo
 
Aug. 3, 2015 23:00 TUCSON, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is reviewing how its operations might be impacted by new rules released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will limit emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants. 
 
The Clean Power Plan (CPP) establishes varying CO2 reduction targets that Arizona and other states must meet by 2030, including interim goals for the period from 2022 through 2029. The CPP allows states to develop their own compliance plans but calls on the EPA to write rules for states that do not submit a plan. 
 
TEP is reviewing the CPP to determine if it will alter the company’s existing plans to reduce CO2 emissions, expand renewable energy resources and improve the environmental performance of the generating portfolio that serves southern Arizona’s growing energy needs. 
Read more...
 
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