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Green Valley News Comments on Arizona Energy Efficiency Standard (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Energy Efficiency
Date: 2019-05-13
With the approaching demise of Arizona's Energy Efficiency Standard, the Arizona Corporation Commission should note that from 2010-17, every $1 of ratepayer money invested in energy efficiency by Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric Power returned about $4 in benefits to ratepayers. The Standard also helped reduce water consumption and contributed to job creation.

The standard set aspirational yet rational requirements incorporating annual benchmarks and establishing accountability measures such as implementation plans. As the Commission deliberates its next steps on energy efficiency, here are a few considerations commissioners should keep in mind:

  • A strong standard will accomplish more than a goal. In large part, the reason Arizona's Energy Efficiency Standard has worked is due to requirements the Commission placed on utilities. Without a Standard, it is unlikely Arizona's utilities would have significantly increased the use of energy efficiency resources.

  • Arizonans support energy efficiency. According to an energy poll released earlier this year, 68 pct of those polled agree that regulations applied to utility providers, such as Arizona Public Service, Tucson Electric Power, UNS Energy Corporation, or Salt River Project should be increased to ensure they are offering energy efficiency to all their customers.

  • The recent trend among state policy makers and utilities in the Southwest is a shift to increased energy efficiency commitments. Just like it is realistic and no longer visionary to send a man (or a woman) to the moon; it is realistic and no longer visionary to increase Arizona's Energy Efficiency Standard.

    For the sake of ratepayers, air quality and public health, the Commission should vote on May 22 to advance Arizona’s Energy Efficiency Standard to at least 35 pct by 2030. (Source: Green Valley News, 12 May, 2019) Contact: Arizona Corporation Commission, (602) 542-3026, www.azcc.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


  • APS Testing Woody Biomass for Power Generation (Ind. Report)
    Arizona Public Service
    Date: 2019-04-08
    Following up on our Mar. 23rd coverage, in Phoenix, Arizona's largest utility Arizona Public Service (APS) Co. reports it plans to convert its coal-burning Cholla Power Plant near Holbrook to burn woody biomass waste and pine wood chips. The test conversion is intended to address the potential loss of jobs occasioned by an expected 2025 shutdown of the coal-burning facility to meet environmental-emissions regulations and to help prevent the growing wildfire-forest fire threat.

    After a 60-day test period, AAPS will update the Arizona Corporation Commission regarding whether converting the coal generator to burn biomass would be cost efficient, officials said. According to the US EPA , electricity from forest biomass is carbon neutral and does not contribute to climate change. (Source: APS, WRAL.com, AP. 6 April, 2019) Contact: APS, Barbara Lockwood, VP, www.aps.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Arizona Public Service,  Woody Biomass,  Coal ,  


    APS Considers Coal-Fired Plant Conversion to Biomass (Ind. Report)
    Arizona Public Service
    Date: 2019-03-22
    In the Sun Devil State, Arizona Public Service (APS) reports it has advised the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) it is evaluating the feasibility and costs involved in the possible conversion of one unit of its 1962-vintage, four-unit coal-fired Cholla Power Plant in Joseph City to burning forest waste woody biomass. The plant is presently slated to close by 2025.

    The initiative is in keeping with the state's renewable energy portfolio and an important factor in forest health. Last December, the ACC ordered their staff to develop a proposed set of rules to create a market for the 1.5 million tons of branches, brush and debris created by thinning 50,000 acres of overgrown forest annually -- the goal set by 4FRI. The ruling provided for the production of 60 MW of power from bioenergy. Presently, only the 28-MW Novo Power in Snowflake produces bioenergy electricity in Arizona. (Source: Arizona Public Service, PR, White Mountain Independent, 22 Mar, 2019) Contact: Arizona Public Service, www.aps.com; Noveo Power, www.novopower.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Novo Power,  Arizona Public Service,  Woody Biomass,  Forest Biomass,  


    Arizona Utilities Encouraged to Increase Energy Efficiency Investments (Ind. Report)
    US PIRG, Tucson Electric Power
    Date: 2018-12-12
    With just days before the Arizona Corporation Commission is expected to vote on Tucson Electric Power's (TEP) Demand-Side Management Plan, Tucson business owners are encouraging the Commission to increase investment in energy efficiency. The Arizona PIRG Education Fund and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, who have been speaking with business owners across Tucson, are hopeful the Commission will restore and increase energy efficiency funding for TEP ratepayers.

    In a letter to the Commission, three dozen business owners cited the return on investment, the creation of local jobs and reduced energy waste attributed to energy efficiency. According to the letter, since 2010, energy saving programs implemented by TEP and Arizona Public Service Company (APS) deliver approximately $3.90 in benefits for every $1 invested by ratepayers. Additionally, the APs and TEP energy-saving programs have cut energy waste by delivering demand savings greater than eight 100MW peaker power plants. (Source: US PIRG, PR, 11 Dec., 2018) Contact: US PIRG, Aaron Kane (602) 252-9227, https://uspirg.org; Arizona Corporation Commission, www.azcc.gov; Tucson Electric Power, (520) 571-4000, www.tep.com; Arizona Public Service Company, www.aps.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US PIRG,  Energy Eficiency,  Tucson Electric Power,  


    TEP Warns AZ Clean-Energy Policy Doable but Costly (Ind. Report)
    Tucson Electric Power,Arizona Corporation Commission
    Date: 2018-07-16
    In Arizona, Tucson Electric Power Co. (TEP) is warning that although the state "energy modernization" plan requiring utilities to generate 80 pct of their power from renewable sources by 2050 is doable, it could raise costs for the company and its ratepayers by more than $800 million through 2030, and cause the eventual closure of TEP-owned power generation stations. The higher costs would mainly include an additional $673 million in investments in energy-storage systems and about $53 million for new biomass energy projects.

    The Arizona Corporation Commission plan aims to encourage the development of renewable generating plants with energy storage. It would also count energy from Arizona Public Service's Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station as clean energy.

    TEP says it generally backs the objectives of energy modernization plans and favors coordinated, integrated resource energy policies overseen by elected officials. The utility also notes it is already pursuing clean energy goals that exceed existing state requirements. The utility has 21 megawatts of battery energy storage currently operating, and has contracted for 30 MW of four-hour battery storage as part of a 100 MW solar farm slated to reach commercial operation in late 2020. TEP says it is also considering purchasing or contracting for up to 200 MW of the proposed Big Chino Valley pumped-storage hydro project north of Prescott, which is expected to be online in 2025. (Source: TEP, Tucson.com, 15 July, 2018) Contact: TEP, Renewable Energy Dir., Carmine Tilghman, Dir. Energy Supply and Renewable Energy, (520) 571-4000, ctilghman@tep.com, www.tep.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Arizona Corporation Commission,  Tucson Electric Power,  Renewable Energy,  Clean Energy,  


    TEP Considering Woody Biomass Power Generation (Ind. Report)
    Tucson Electric Power ,Accion Group
    Date: 2018-07-03
    Following up on our November 9, 2016 coverage, Tucson Electric Power Co. (TEP) reports it has issued a Request for Information (RoI) on technologies, costs, environmental benefits, construction requirements and interconnection requirements of forest biomass energy generation projects.

    The information will be used to "help determine the feasibility of using forest residues, crop residues, primary and secondary mill residues, and urban wood waste feedstocks as a renewable resource. TEP anticipates filing a forest biomass proposal with the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2019.

    The request for information process is being managed by New Hampshire-based Accion Group. A copy of the RoI can be found HERE. (Source: TEP, Tucson.com., Others, 2 July, 2018) Contact: TEP, Renewable Energy Dir., Carmine Tilghman, Dir. Energy Supply and Renewable Energy, (520) 571-4000, ctilghman@tep.com, www.tep.com; Accion Group, (603) 229-1644, www.acciongroup.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Accion Group,  Tucson Electric Power ,  Woody Biomass,  Forest Biomass,  


    AZ Senate Moves to Unplug Renewable Energy Standard (Reg & Leg)
    Arizona,Renewable Energy
    Date: 2018-03-21
    In Phoenix, the five-member Arizona Corporation Commission (Public Utilities Commission) reports it has approved HB 2005 giving utilities a way to avoid sourcing half their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. HB 2005, the "Clean Energy for Healthy Arizonans" measure, if approved by the Republican-controlled senate and the state's voters, would sharply boost existing commission rules requiring 15 pct of all power come from renewable sources by 2025.

    If passed, HB 2005 would be incorporated into the State Constitution which empowers the five-member Arizona Corporation Commission to set utility rates and determine the appropriate mix of energy sources. Using that authority the commission set the goal of 15 pct from renewable sources by 2025. This initiative would amend the constitution to boost that to 50 pct by 2030. (Source: Arizona Corporation Commission, Payson Roundup, 15 Mar., 2018) Contact: Arizona Corporation Commission, (602) 542-4251, www.azcc.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy Standard,  Renewable Energy Arizona,  Renewables,  

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