The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has voted to reduce support for Tucson Electric Power (TEP) customers that install solar.
Under the plan, residential PV incentives will be cut to $0.10/W, in contrast to the $0.50/W level that TEP had proposed, according to the Arizona Daily Star. Solar thermal customers will receive incentives of $0.40/kWh-equivalent, also a reduction from the $0.50/kWh-equivalent proposed by TEP.
Additionally, the ACC voted to eliminate TEP's incentive program for commercial solar installations. The utility had already met its commercial-scale renewable energy goals for the next several years, the commission noted.
Solar installers that attended the meeting reportedly told the commission that the incentive cuts would make deals difficult to close, therefore hurting their business.
Carrie Cullen Hitt, senior vice president of state affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), said that SEIA found the decision on commercial incentives, in particular, both surprising and disappointing.
‘While the ACC maintained funding for utility-owned projects it eliminated those for privately-developed commercial systems,’ Hitt said in a statement. ‘The latter is a step backwards for Arizona's longstanding commitment to economic development, free markets and expansion of clean energy resources.’
‘Arizona businesses will continue paying monthly Renewable Energy Standard Tariff surcharges, but they will have no longer have the opportunity to use these funds to eliminate or reduce their electricity bill by installing solar themselves,’ she added.