ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona regulators revive renewable energy plan but with slower timeline

May 27, 2021, 1:30 PM
(Arizona Public Service Photo)...
(Arizona Public Service Photo)
(Arizona Public Service Photo)

PHOENIX (AP) — A 3-2 vote by the Arizona Corporation Commission moves the state toward boosting the renewable energy requirement for state-regulated utilities but under a slower timetable than a previous proposal that was rejected by the panel.

The commission’s vote Wednesday restarts a rulemaking process to require that most of the state’s electrical providers get 100% of their power from carbon-free sources to limit carbon emissions and address climate change.

But the new proposal is based on a bipartisan compromise that would set a 2070 deadline — 20 years later than the 2050 target in the previous proposal rejected by the commission on May 5.

A formal vote on the new proposal is expected next fall following new public comment sessions and submissions.

Arizona’s current standards adopted in 2006 require utilities regulated by the commission to get at least 15% of their electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and nuclear power plants by 2025.

But Arizona Public Service Co. and Tucson Electric Power have announced voluntary plans to vastly increase their use of renewable energy and cut carbon emissions tied to climate change.

The May 5 vote came as a surprise since the plan was backed by major utilities and was given initial approval by the commission on a 4-1 vote in November after three years of work.

Key to the May 5 decision was the adoption of a Republican member’s amendment that turned requirements into goals — prompting the panel’s two Democrats to drop their support.

Failing to require changes that will lower carbon emissions would put Arizona behind other Western states that have increasingly adopted tough new standards in an effort to limit the effects of climate change.

The compromise was led by joint amendments from Commissioner Anna Tovar, a Democrat, and Jim O’Connor, a Republican.

The May 5 vote had prompted Democrat Sandra Kennedy to ask Chairwoman Lea Marquez Peterson, a Republican, to schedule a special meeting to reconsider the issue, which Peterson did while urging other members to offer proposals for a compromise.

Tovar, O’Connor and Kennedy voted Wednesday to advance the new proposal. Marquez Peterson and fellow Republican Justin Olson voted against it.

“I think 100% is a smart target to shoot for, but I really believe the industry needs more time to get there,” O’Connor said Wednesday. “That implies flexibility and again most importantly leaves the utility companies in control of how they construct their energy portfolios.”

Kennedy opposed moving the deadline to 2070 but nonetheless said the later date would “move the process along so we can move Arizona along.”

Olson has voiced concern about mandates and possible impacts on ratepayers. Marquez has voiced support for goals, not mandates.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Brophy College Preparatory)...
Associated Press

Brophy College Prep in Phoenix reports widespread cheating

The principal of Brophy College Preparatory says the prestigious private Phoenix high school has learned of “widespread even pervasive” cheating in its all-male student body.
21 hours ago
Clouds pass over drought-stricken Lake Mead on May 10, 2022 in the Lake Mead National Recreation Ar...
Associated Press

Tucson willing to take 20% less water to help Lake Mead shortage

The Tucson City Council included its potential willingness to take 20% less CAP water to keep more in the reservoir.
21 hours ago
(Facebook photo / State Farm Stadium)...
Associated Press

Glendale adopts new short-term rental regulations ahead of Super Bowl

Glendale has preemptively adopted rules regulating short-term rental properties before the city welcomes visitors for the 2023 Super Bowl.
21 hours ago
(Pexels photo)...
KTAR.com

Arizona sees significant jobs increase in April, per employment report

The state of Arizona saw a 13,100 jobs increase in the month of April, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority's monthly report.
21 hours ago
(Pexels photo)...
KTAR.com

Rio Salado’s Dental Clinic offering free dental work to Arizona’s veterans on Saturday

Arizona's veterans can receive free dental cleanings, dentures, fillings, oral surgery and crowns Saturday at Rio Salado’s Dental Clinic.
21 hours ago
A 9mm pistol build kit with a commercial slide and barrel with a polymer frame is displayed during ...
KTAR.com

Felon from Arizona convicted of firearm, ammo possession, including ‘ghost gun’

An Arizona felon was found guilty of illegally possessing over 20 firearms, including a “ghost gun,” and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Christina O’Haver

Stroke month: Experts call attention to stroke prevention

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
(Twitter photo / Coco5)...
Coco5

Suns star Devin Booker’s all-natural sports drink Coco5 perfect for any activity

Devin Booker is leading the Suns in pursuit of their first NBA championship while also working to provide people proper hydration with Coco5.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to in April

April brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Suns and Diamondbacks.
Arizona regulators revive renewable energy plan but with slower timeline