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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Arizona Commission Votes to Expand Renewable Energy Standard to 15% by 2025

Solar and other distributed generation to meet 30% of target reports that the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) voted 4-1 on October 31 to expand the state's renewable energy standard to 15% by 2025, with 30% of that to come from distributed generation technologies - potentially resulting in up to 2,000 megawatts of solar.

The historic vote puts Arizona in the running to become the one of the largest solar programs in the country, right behind California and potentially ahead of New Jersey. The vote also represents a major expansion of the state's renewable energy target from just 1.1 percent in 2007 to 15 percent by 2025.

The benchmarks for renewable energy production for the state's regulated utilities accelerates over time with interim targets set at 2.5 percent of the total by 2010 to 5 percent by 2015, 10 percent by 2020 and 15 percent by 2025. The portion of that the benchmarks that must be met by distributed generation has been mapped out only through 2011. It would require distributed generation technologies meet 5 percent of each utility's Renewable Energy Standard obligation by next year and there would be 5 percent annual jumps through 2011 until the 30 percent target is reached.

"With world-class sunshine and explosive population growth, Arizona is well positioned to become a key solar market. The game's not over yet, however. It takes more than incentives to make a sustainable solar market. The state has no regulations for interconnection standards, nor net metering. The financial incentives are the engine for solar's development -- but these policies are the road... now is the time to celebrate," stated Adam Browning, director of the Vote Solar Initiative, in an e-mail announcing the results of the October 31 vote.

Funding for the Renewable Energy Standard will be provided through a tariff assessment of $0.004988 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) with monthly impacts capped at $1.05 for residential customers, $39 for small commercial, and $117 for large commercial. The new standard also allows for new and emerging technologies to be added as they become feasible.

The ACC's vote yesterday marked the end of a two-year campaign to revise and expand Arizona's existing Environmental Portfolio Standard, which required just 1.1 percent of electricity sold in the state to come from renewables.


  • Draft Rules for Expanded Renewable Energy Standard and Tarrif - (These are draft rules from March, 2006. I couldn't find the current rules, but these look to be very close to the rules adopted by the ACC yesterday)

  • [A hat tip to Democratic Energy and]

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