Arizona Votes 4-1 in Favor of Renewable Energy

The future of solar — and renewable energy as a whole — just got a whole lot sunnier in the state of Arizona. By a vote of 4-1, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) voted on October 31 to expand the state’s renewable portfolio 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 largest solar program in the country, right behind California and potentially ahead of New Jersey. “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 allow 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.
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