Arizona regulators set solar power standard contract at 18 years long — is a PURPA solar boom coming?

For the first time, the state’s public utility commission has created a standard contract length for PURPA solar projects — in stark contrast to utility APS requesting a two-year term.

By John Weaver | PV Magazine

If you Google Yuma, Arizona you’ll find references to the city being among the sunniest in the world. Looking at the solar insolation map from the National Renewable Energy Lab, you’ll note that the whole state gets solid solar resources – with the southwestern area having the highest values on the legend. The state has a history of dirty energy politics, including FBI investigations and near Supreme Court Cases. Nonetheless, as of the middle of the year, Arizona got the third most of any state of its electricity from solar power at 9.6% overall and has some of the cheapest solar electricity in the country.

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) voted to reject a request from the state’s investor-owned utilities to set two-year contract terms for renewable energy projects under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), and in fact created – for the first time – a standard contract term of 18 years. The original 2016 filing leaned heavily on an Idaho ruling requesting a 2 year PURPA contract.