Arizona Solar Industries Association
The Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association (AriSEIA) announced today that it has agreed to terms on a comprehensive settlement of the ongoing and contentious Arizona Public Service (APS) rate case. While the settlement’s terms are expected to result in an unfortunate shrinking of Arizona’s solar industry, the terms are expected to allow the industry to survive in a state that has seen much controversy around solar in recent years. “The future of Arizona’s solar industry was very much on the line in this case and while this settlement doesn’t help Arizona solar grow, it allows solar to remain a viable option for some Arizonans” said Brandon Cheshire of Sun Harvest Solar, President of the Board of AriSEIA.
“AriSEIA is hopeful that the settlement will put an end to years of attacks on the rooftop solar industry in Arizona” continued Cheshire noting that agreement of any kind between utilities and solar providers is a notable and positive development.
AriSEIA is pleased that the settlement reconfirmed support for the essential policy of grandfathering whereby any APS customer signing up for solar before the settlement agreement is finally adopted will be guaranteed 20 years of full retail net metering and their current utility rate design. In addition, the settlement terms create a new and incentive-free rate aimed at supporting the adoption of new technologies like solar paired with battery storage, creating new opportunities for Arizona ratepayers to have an alternative to the status quo.
“At the end of the day, the alternative to this settlement was to risk the entire solar industry to litigation in front of the Arizona Corporation Commission and AriSEIA concluded that was simply too much risk to take” said Corey Garrison of Southface Solar Electric, Board Member of AriSEIA. He also went on to say “Arizona currently has more than 7,000 people working in the solar industry and while we firmly believe this state should be doing everything possible to increase that number, we are optimistic that this settlement protects a significant number of the existing jobs”.
Through a separate agreement, APS, Industry Representatives, and solar advocates commit to stand by the settlement agreement and refrain from seeking to undermine it through ballot initiatives, legislation or advocacy at the ACC.