ACC Approves APS Project, Supports TEP’s Solar Plans

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has approved a pilot project in Flagstaff, Ariz., for Arizona Public Service (APS) to install utility-owned solar arrays on approximately 200 homes and solar water heaters in about 50 homes. The plan also calls for small-scale, stand-alone wind turbines to be installed on approximately six properties in a limited distribution area in northeast Flagstaff.

APS selected this portion of its Flagstaff service territory for the Community Power Project because of its limited growth compared to other areas and significant community support for renewable resources. The smart distribution grid will include intelligent diagnostics, automation technologies and central distribution information management systems.

In order to provide opportunity for competition, the agreement passed gives APS the authority to move forward with installing 100 of the systems, but allows third-party installers a 120-day window to bring forward plans to develop the additional 100 systems, ACC notes. Following this window, APS is authorized to develop
those systems not developed by other entities.

In addition, ACC has expressed its support for Tucson Electric Power's (TEP) plan to add more than 33 MW of solar generating capacity to its portfolio through power purchase contracts and new company-owned resources.

TEP had asked the ACC to review its plan to purchase energy from a new 25 MW photovoltaic array northwest of Tucson and a 5 MW concentrating solar power plant planned for the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park. Both privately owned and operated systems are expected to be completed by January 2012.

In an April 1 vote, the ACC concluded that those agreements and TEP's plan to build 3.4 MW of new, company-owned PV systems this year were an ‘appropriate component’ of its efforts to comply with Arizona's renewable portfolio standard.

SOURCES: Arizona Corporation Commission, Tucson Electric Power

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