Articles from Arizona
Prior to the final 4-1 vote, the regulators deleted a proposed mandate that the utilities get at least 50% of their power from renewable sources by 2035. The rules count power from APS’s Palo Verde nuclear plant as a carbon-free “clean energy” source and replace the state’s current renewable-energy standard, which requires utilities to get 15% of their power from renewables by 2025.
In amendments to a package of clean-energy rules still awaiting final approval, the commission also voted to require major utilities including Tucson Electric Power Co. and Arizona Public Service Co. to cut their carbon emissions in steps to 100% by 2050. The regulators during a virtual open meeting also approved a measure requiring the installation of energy-storage systems with an overall capacity of 5% of each utility’s peak demand by 2035, with 40% to be customer-owned or -leased systems.
In 2006, Arizona had a mere 9 megawatts of solar capacity and no wind farms, so it was bold when the Arizona Corporation Commission required utilities to generate 15% of their energy from renewable sources by 2025. Arizona was an early adopter of a renewable standard, which at the time was competitive with neighboring states and gave rise to Arizona’s strong solar sector.
That’s one of the few big challenges that wind development is still facing in New Mexico. More wind generation is contingent on increased transmission capacity. More outreach to communities is needed, said Fernando Martinez, executive director of the state Renewable Energy Transmission Authority. ...“It’s essential to develop a reliable, connected grid for renewable energy.”
Defenders of California’s renewable-first policy say that the state’s average residential electricity bills are relatively low. But that has ...everything to do with a temperate climate where Californians simply use less energy. Move California’s electricity prices to other states and the same electricity rates would be devastating. And yet, California’s energy approach is being replicated across the country, with little understanding of the potential consequences.
The clean energy constitutional amendment Proposition 127 is on track to fail by a wide margin, as Arizona voters appear to have rejected a ballot measure that the state’s largest utility company claimed would raise utility bills. ...The measure would have required Arizona utilities to achieve 50 percent of their electricity sales from renewable sources like solar and wind, but not nuclear, by 2030.
More than $40 million has been spent to fight for and against a ballot initiative that would change the future of Arizona’s energy mix. Proposition 127 has also been the subject of an Arizona Supreme Court lawsuit and a battle over claims that language from the Attorney General’s Office undermined the initiative.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opened a criminal investigation into the deaths at Red Horse II Wind Farm before referring the matter to the U.S. Justice Department, said Aislinn Maestas, a spokeswoman for the wildlife service.
A clean energy initiative submitted enough valid signatures to make it onto the ballot in November, according to the Arizona Secretary of State's office.
The Steyer camp arrogantly claims that opposing their bad idea of energy policy is the same as opposing clean energy, but that is not true. At Arizona Public Service (APS), we strongly oppose the Steyer initiative because it’s bad for customers and bad for our state.
“Anchoring a policy in the state constitution is not good policymaking and it really cuts against the market and the operating of the system as it exists in Arizona,” said Greg Bernosky, a former APS regulatory executive who now works at Pinnacle West, the utility’s parent.
Lawmakers fight initiative
NEEDLES — If the second two meetings went like the first two, support for the Crescent Peak Wind project is scarce. A total of four scoping meetings were held April 9-12 in Searchlight, Needles, Las Vegas and Henderson as part of the environmental impact statement process.
On paper, what’s going to the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday has the same goal as the initiative of having 50 percent of what’s generated in Arizona produced by renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal by 2030. But the measure ...prohibits the commission from implementing the new requirement if it would have any effect on “the affordability or cost” of bills paid by customers.
Southern Arizona’s only wind-energy farm is under a federal criminal investigation because its turbines killed an endangered bat and a federally protected golden eagle, law enforcement officials say. ...if the company had chosen to seek permits in advance that would have allowed it to kill a certain number of the protected species.
The state’s second-largest utility now offers an EarthWise Energy program. Customers pay 1 cent more for each kilowatt-hour of electricity they use, and can choose to pay that premium on either half or all of their energy. ...RECs can’t be double-counted toward a customer account and toward the SRP goal.
Arizona utility regulators voted Tuesday to end the system of net metering, where homeowners with solar panels get retail credits for power they send to the grid, and instead reduce the amount utilities pay homeowners for rooftop solar power.
State utility regulator Andy Tobin is proposing to effectively reduce state renewable-energy rules by counting nuclear energy as a renewable power source to compete with solar and wind. Environmental advocates, even those who support nuclear energy, generally don't consider nuclear-power plants as renewable energy.
Chairman Little called running two high voltage power lines through the San Pedro Valley a mistake of the first order. “I am extremely disappointed in the outcome of this decision and believe there were better alternative routes with significantly less environmental impacts that unfortunately were not approved” when the project went through its federal environmental review, Little said. “I am truly saddened that one of the crown jewels of Arizona’s unspoiled wilderness will be irreparably harmed by this decision.”
An outpouring of passion against the proposed 515-mile SunZia power line project greeted the Arizona Corporation Commission Tuesday, with about 25 speakers arguing that it was environmentally destructive and economically unjustified.