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

(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Here’s a map of Fourth of July events taking place across metro Phoenix

Fourth of July is one of the staples of summer and there are plenty of events occurring around the metro Phoenix area where you can celebrate America's birthday.
5 hours ago
(Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon NPS)...
KTAR.com

Grand Canyon National Park tourism generated $710 million for local economy in 2021

Tourism in Grand Canyon National Park brought in $710 million for the local economy in 2021, according to a report released Monday.
5 hours ago
(University of Arizona Photo/Chris Richards)...
Kevin Stone

UArizona offers free tuition for Native American undergraduate students

The University of Arizona is making undergraduate education free for Native American students at the Tucson campus.
5 hours ago
(ADOT Flickr Photo)...
KTAR.com

AAA Arizona expects Fourth of July travel to return to near pre-pandemic levels

AAA Arizona expects travel over the Fourth of July holiday to return to near pre-pandemic levels this year, despite high prices at the pump.
5 hours ago
The Threshold initiative was launched June 1, 2022, at a news conference at the Arizona Multihousin...
Julio Ernesto Mora Rodriguez I Cronkite News

Landlords asked to help solve homelessness through new Maricopa County initiative

The number of people experiencing homelessness is rising in Maricopa County, and with it the need for affordable housing. Enter Threshold, which intends to change the housing dynamic by inviting landlords to be part of the solution.
5 hours ago
(City of Tempe Photo)...
KTAR.com

Arizona cities exchange fireworks for other showy July Fourth displays

A few Arizona cities plan to light up the night sky without fireworks to celebrate Independence Day this year. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Arizona regulators revive renewable energy plan but with slower timeline