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Arizona Corporation Commission Revives Clean Energy Rules

Posted by Cayli Baker on May 26, 2021

ACC moves clean energy rules forward with two new proposed amendments at its Wednesday Contingency Meeting

PHOENIX, May 26, 2021 — Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE)applauded the passage of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) Energy Rules in the ACC’s Contingency Meeting.

 

“AEE is thrilled that the commission has taken steps to move the energy rules forward. The amended rules still enable important reforms on integrated resource planning, create requirements for customer-owned distributed side management, and get the wheels turning on replacements for net metering. This is a big win for advanced energy,” said said Shelby Stults, Arizona state policy lead at Advanced Energy Economy.

At a lengthy Open Meeting on May 6th, commissioners debated the energy rules for over eleven hours, passed an amendment weakening the rules by changing them to unenforceable goals, and ultimately voted them down 3 to 2 (see AEE’s statement here). Following this, Chair Márquez Peterson and Commissioners Kennedy, O’Connor, and Tovar all filed letters expressing interest in re-discussing the matter, resulting in the scheduling of the energy rules at the Contingency Meeting date.

The key amendments that passed were Commissioner Anna Tovar and Commissioner Jim O’Connor Proposed Amendment No. 1 and Commissioner Anna Tovar and Commissioner Jim O’Connor Proposed Amendment No. 2. The first accepted amendment from Tovar and O’Connor directs investor-owned utilities Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric Power to analyze cost of compliance for the rules, and demonstrate a “lowest-total cost” portfolio that includes externalities. The second amendment from Commissioners Tovar and O’Connor revises the carbon emissions standards as follows:

• 50% reduction from baseline emissions by December 31st by 2032
• 65% reduction from baseline emissions by December 31st by 2040
• 80% reduction from baseline emissions by December 31st by 2050
• 95% reduction from baseline emissions by December 31st by 2060
• 100% reduction from baseline emissions by December 31st by 2070

The amended rules package was then brought to a final vote before the Commissioners, where it passed 3 to 2 with bipartisan support from Commissioners O’Connor, Tovar, and Kennedy. As a result, the Energy Rules move forward to live another day in the wild west of Arizona.

“This was truly a great example of bipartisan cooperation, leadership, and negotiation to get these rules across the finish line. While they look a bit different than was expected originally, the important reforms and regulatory certainty contained in this rules package will launch Arizona into a new energy era,” remarked Stults.

 

Background Materials

Topics: Regulatory, Press Releases, Arizona