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Arizona Utility Articles




APS to eliminate the “grid access charge” for residential solar customers

On November 2, the Arizona Corporation Commission voted its final approval to eliminate Arizona Public Service (APS) company’s “grid access charge,” ending a decade-old unfair practice of charging residential solar customers a discriminatory fee. The grid access fee, a monthly fee based on $0.93 per kW-dc of generation. This fee averaged about $100 per year per solar customer. The Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association (AriSEIA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) argued that the fee unfairly targeted solar customers under the pretense that it cost more to provide them with electricity.

APS is also reducing the "on peak" hours for time-of-use electricity plans eventually will shift to 4 to 7 p.m. Today, those rate plans use on-peak hours of 3 to 8 p.m. APS said it could take 10 months to implement the change.

The changes regulators made to APS revenue will affect bills starting in December, but the company said it would take several months to adjust the new on-peak hours on time-of-use energy plans.

SolarRecycle.org

Wondering what to do with end-of-life solar equipment?  

SolarRecycle.org is a resource to promote sustainable disposal of end-of-life solar equipment by facilitating engagement with recycling vendors. To do this, SolarRecycle.org aggregates and centralizes information to educate the public about their options. SolarRecycle.org also recognizes that transportation costs play a major part in choosing which vendors to utilize, so they have included an interactive map for the user to quickly see what companies may be a good fit based on geography. Their long-term intent is to eventually tackle some of the other waste management challenges of the industry, as well as track current state and federal policy related to solar equipment recycling and waste classification.

This information will become even more important as this sector of the industry experiences rapid change in the coming years. Clink on the image below for more information.  There are several Arizona resources listed.

SolarRecyle org

City of Phoenix Residential Photovoltaic Roof Access-2021

The City of Phoenix has continued dialog with the solar industry and other stakeholders to enact some solar code changes that generally increase the area of residential one- and two- family dwelling roof areas that can be utilized for photovoltaic arrays.  This has been done by reducing the required pathways for fire access.  The major changes are:

Pathways to ridge. Not fewer than two 36 inch- wide (914 mm) pathways on separate roof planes, from lowest roof edge to ridge, shall be provided on all buildings. Not fewer than one pathway shall be provided on the street or driveway side of the roof. For each roof plane with a photovoltaic array, not fewer than one 36-inch- wide (914 mm) pathway from lowest roof edge to ridge shall be provided on the same roof plane as the photovoltaic array, on an adjacent roof plane or straddling the same and adjacent roof planes.

Setbacks at ridge. For photovoltaic arrays occupying 33 percent or less of the plan view total roof area, a setback of not less than 18 inches (457 mm) wide is required on both sides of a horizontal ridge. For photovoltaic arrays occupying more than 33 percent of the plan view total roof area, a setback of not less than 36 inches (457 mm) wide is required on both sides of a horizontal ridge.

Alternative setbacks at ridge. Where an automatic sprinkler system is installed within the dwelling in accordance with Section 903.3.1.3, setbacks at the ridge shall conform to one of the following:

    1. For photovoltaic arrays occupying 66 percent or less of the plan view total roof area, a setback of not less than 18 inches (457 mm) wide is required on both sides of a horizontal ridge.

    2.For photovoltaic arrays occupying more than 66 percent of the plan view total roof area, a setback of not less than 36 inches (914 mm) wide is required on both sides of a horizontal ridge.

For more information see: Phoenix Fire Code Changes 3-8-2021