Arizona Corporation Commission Approves APS’ AZ Sun Solar Program

This week the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) approved Arizona Public Service’s (APS) AZ Sun program, bringing the utility another step closer to delivering more solar energy to customers.

APS plans to invest up to $500 million in the program over four years to develop 100 megawatts (MW) of turn-key photovoltaic power plants across Arizona. Developers will be selected to build the plants, which APS will own. The plants will be selected through competitive procurement processes.

The company’s January 27, 2010, Request for Proposal for new sources of solar energy will seek to secure projects that could fulfill the initial phase of this program. Proposals are due April 7. APS will be developing a separate plan to procure 25 MW of solar energy from independent power providers.

“AZ Sun is good for customers and good for solar power in Arizona,” said Don Robinson APS’ president. “To meet the growing energy needs of customers, we continue to seek the most effective ways to add renewable energy to our energy supply portfolio.” 

Until the time that the costs of the first 50 MW of the AZ Sun program are recovered in base rates, the costs will be recovered through the existing Renewable Energy Surcharge. Costs for the remaining 50 MW will be recovered through an adjustment mechanism to be determined in APS’s next retail rate case. APS expects to file this case in June 2011.

The ACC deferred a decision on APS’ Community Power Project – Flagstaff Pilot until its next regular open meeting, which is set for March 31.