Phoenix, Arizona [RenewableEnergyAccess.com]
After more than two years of hard work from renewable energy advocacy groups, the Arizona Attorney General approved the state's renewable energy standard (RES) on Friday, requiring Arizona utilities to generate 15 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2025.
"The Commission will either make a decision that will allow there to be a solar market in Arizona or it will make a decision that will utterly devastate the solar program."
--Adam Browning, Executive Director, Vote Solar Initiative
The Arizona Corporation Commission approved the RES last October, but the standard needed to undergo a legal review before it could become law.
The RES mandates that 30% of the renewable power must come from distributed generators, creating a huge market for photovoltaics (PV) in the state. The 30 percent requirement could result in the installation of 2,000 megawatts (MW) of solar by the 2025 target date.
“This is a big deal,” said Adam Browning, Executive Director of the Vote Solar Initiative. “Now the rules go into effect and allow the glory of the sun to be harnessed in the state of Arizona.”
Arizona does not have any interconnection standards or net metering laws, however. Even though the potential for a prosperous solar market is there, said Browning, the absence of such laws will be a disincentive for consumers who want to invest in PV.
The Corporation Commission is currently reviewing both interconnection standards and net metering laws and could decide to implement such measures as soon as Tuesday.
“The Commission will either make a decision that will allow there to be a solar market in Arizona or it will make a decision that will utterly devastate the solar program. It’s really hard to say,” said Browning.
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 allow for new and emerging technologies to be added as they become feasible.