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Arizona Solar Center Blog

Commentary from Arizona Solar Center Board Members and invited contributors.

While blog entries are initiated by the Solar Center, we welcome dialogue around the posted topics. Your expertise and perspective are highly valued -- so if you haven't logged in and contributed, please do so!

Jim Arwood served six Arizona governors in various capacities managing federal energy programs, culminating in his appointment by then Governor Janet Napolitano, as Director of the State Energy Office in 2006. After nearly 25 years serving the state of Arizona, Mr. Arwood retired from government service in 2010 and today consults for a variety of energy related organizations. He also serves as Director of Communications for the Arizona Solar Center.

The Decision

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) decision on November 14 to impose a monthly fee on future rooftop solar homeowners left many observers wondering whether it was:

Recent Comments
Jay Leopold
Did anyone else notice the "ready-shoot-aim" process at the ACC on Thursday. Out of the blue came the 70¢ idea and all of the sudd... Read More
Sunday, 17 November 2013 08:08
James Pitre
In my opinion it is a short term win for the proponents of distributed renewable energy, however the principle of a fee to connect... Read More
Sunday, 17 November 2013 08:39
Jeff Hodgkinson
I was at the ACC hearing on Wednesday and believe I was the 6th person to speak and the first ‘homeowner’ vs. a state representati... Read More
Sunday, 17 November 2013 10:27
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Fair is Fair

The net metering issue before the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) is being framed as an issue of “fairness.” This policy, adopted in 2008 by the ACC as part of the state’s Renewable Energy Standard, was devised to encourage Arizonans to spend large amounts of money out-of-pocket to inject clean electrons into our electrical system – benefitting the grid, the economy, our air, our health. 

Recent Comments
Jim Stack
This article gives three examples of fairness that are right on the point. If they want fairness then everyone should have to get ... Read More
Sunday, 10 November 2013 07:37
James Pitre
The whole idea that the argument by APS has to do with fairness is a sham and excuse to grab control of their market back APS con... Read More
Sunday, 10 November 2013 07:46
Raymond Joseph Alfini PE
Thank you for a common sense approach. Helping my neighbors avoid using coal or nuke power from the grid was one reason I added PV... Read More
Sunday, 10 November 2013 09:18
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We Are Solar

For several months Arizona media outlets have repeated a certain inaccurate "statement of fact" about solar homeowners so many times that most people by now believe it to be true. Anti-solar TV ads from out-of-state non-profit organizations have made the same claim: Arizona solar customers are primarily wealthy and live in affluent neighborhoods.

Recent Comments
Raymond Joseph Alfini PE
Using APS logic to charge clients extra if they use solar power would mean I would be charged extra because I use salvaged solar w... Read More
Sunday, 03 November 2013 10:36
Jim Stack
So let's remove the subsidies to COAL, NG , Nuclear and water and see who APS can find to bill for it.
Sunday, 03 November 2013 12:58
Ruth Nofchissey
This has been the case for decades, Jim. Remember that Palo Verde was constructed because the Corporation Commission guaranteed r... Read More
Friday, 08 November 2013 16:54
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Net Metering: Point-Counterpoint Responses to the ACC Staff’s Recommendations

This week’s Sun Day Blog(s) covers both sides of the issue of the Net Metering debate. APS and AriSEIA (Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association) were asked to provide their respective positions on the Arizona Corporation Commission Staff’s recommendations concerning the net metering proposed changes offered earlier this summer by APS.

Recent Comments
APS is only looking out for themselves. They will be the only ones benefiting from the change. Solar customers will suffer, solar ... Read More
Sunday, 13 October 2013 12:29
James Pitre
The issue of fairness may need to be addressed, however by far the more important issue is how do we collectively establish a poli... Read More
Sunday, 13 October 2013 13:25
Jim Stack
So when a solar customer makes extra energy right during the Peak hours and it flows to a neighbors house and APS bills that custo... Read More
Monday, 14 October 2013 09:31
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Breaking News: ACC Staff Recommends Postponing Net Metering Discussion Until 2015

October 1 -- Yesterday the Arizona Corporation Commission Staff issued its highly anticipated recommendations in response to APS's proposed rule changes directed at residential solar customers.

Recent Comments
Jim Stack
This is just a recommendation by the staff at this time. If the commissioners agree it just delays it for 2 years until the next r... Read More
Friday, 04 October 2013 20:36
Henry Harding
I have another property and would like to have solar on that as well. If the Corporation Commission goes with the staff recommenda... Read More
Saturday, 05 October 2013 04:56
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Living With The Sun (Arizona Style)

On September 23, 2013, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer issued a proclamation designating October as Solar and Renewable Energy Month.

The proclamation is in recognition of the American Solar Energy Society’s annual National Solar Tour of solar installations and energy sustainable buildings.

Recent comment in this post
Dan Aiello
The Valley of the Sun (Phx. metro area) tour is a free, self-guided exploration of solar, Green Bldg, and Sustainability - Living ... Read More
Monday, 30 September 2013 15:33
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A Market Transformation Is Underway in the U.S. Power Sector

In January the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) issued a report to its member utilities in which they warned of the "disruptive" challenges that renewable energy and energy efficiency posed to the utility business model.

Recent Comments
Ben Paulos
Jim Thanks for writing this essay on America's Power Plan. You hit the nail right on the head. In response to your questions --... Read More
Friday, 27 September 2013 13:38
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Why isn't there more solar in Arizona? (redux)

Eleven years ago I wrote a guest editorial for the Arizona Daily Sun newspaper in Flagstaff in which I put forward a question that was quite popular at the time: "Why isn't there more solar in Arizona?"

Recent Comments
bill wright
It is a shame our utility remains steadfast for the status quo. Anyone with the slightest bit of vision would have seen this sola... Read More
Saturday, 14 September 2013 12:46
Jim Stack
Simple, just end the subsidies for COAL, NG and Nuclear and everyone will change. If utilities start working with consumers and ca... Read More
Sunday, 15 September 2013 08:03
James Pitre
Let's not forget that our utility companies are monopolies and they have opted to be in a business that is to be operated for the ... Read More
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 20:27
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The $500 Million Question

There’s an important struggle being waged over solar energy in Arizona. At issue is whether utilities can charge residents who've installed solar-power equipment substantial fees.

Recent Comments
Mark Lyzwa
The ACC should definitely “consider” the severe negative impact to property values when deliberating about APS’es proposal to deci... Read More
Sunday, 08 September 2013 10:00
Jim Stack
YES, the ACC has to consider the impact to local businesses , consumers and the environment. That's why we pay them over $100K a y... Read More
Sunday, 08 September 2013 08:17
greg collins
If APS is allowed to destroy the net metering rule, Arizona will blow a big opportunity to become the solar capital of North Ameri... Read More
Sunday, 08 September 2013 09:10
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The New Clean Energy Economy Invests in American Jobs

Employment opportunities in the energy sector are exploding. New enhanced exploration techniques have created a boom in the oil and gas fields. Jobs in this sector are projected to double by the end of the decade.

Recent Comments
Jim Stack
Imagine the jobs and industry we could have if we supported clean energy policies like we do for chip makers that use similar mate... Read More
Monday, 02 September 2013 17:47
Bill Kaszeta
The State of Arizona is slow to react to the loss of solar jobs. Arizona Commerce Authority's Solar Arizona website still featur... Read More
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 13:03
Mike Pasqualetti
Ignoring, as unrealistic as it may be, those with an anti-solar bent, the solar energy market and the job opportunities in Arizona... Read More
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 14:08
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