Distributed solar generation (DG) and net energy metering will provide Arizona Public Service's (APS) utility customers with $34 million in annual benefits, according to a new study commissioned by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and authored by Tom Beach of Crossborder Energy.
Using data from APS' 2012 Integrated Resource Plan and other APS data, the study examines the costs incurred and the benefits generated by distributed solar over the 20-year life of a solar system. According to SEIA, this is consistent with how APS approaches long-term resource planning.
The study found that for each dollar of cost, DG provides $1.54 worth of benefits to APS customers. The net benefits for APS customers will amount to $34 million per year beginning in 2015.
"This study clearly shows that solar offers concrete net benefits to all APS ratepayers, regardless of whether or not they have installed solar," says Carrie Cullen Hitt, SEIA's senior vice president of state affairs." It's essential that we keep smart policies like net metering in place so that Arizona can continue to benefit from its abundant solar resources."
SEIA notes that Arizona boasts the most solar per capita of any state in the U.S., with 1,097 MW of solar capacity, and ranks second in the country for most installed solar.
In 2012 alone, $590 million was invested in Arizona to install solar on homes and businesses, and the state's solar market helps employ 9,800 Arizonans.