Arizona commission approves renewable energy standard for APS

The Arizona Corporation Commission approved Arizona Public Service’s (APS)’s Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST) Implementation Plan. on Jan. 12, according to a news release.

In 2006, the Commission approved the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST). This Rule requires regulated electric utilities generate 15 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2025. The companies must file their plans to reach this goal. The Commission’s Renewable Energy Standards encourage utilities to use solar, wind, bio-mas and bio-gas, geothermal, and other similar technologies to generate “clean” energy to power Arizona’s future. The utilities can meet the mandate with gradual increases annually until the 2025 deadline.

The Commission approved APS’s plan that puts it ahead of schedule. APS forecasts to be in compliance with non-residential targets through 2021 and residential targets through 2022.

The Commission also gave the go-ahead for APS to develop a pilot program that would evaluate residential level energy storage. APS will submit initial reports to the Commission by October 2016 that will include the benefits and costs of integrating energy storage at a residential level.

“Energy storage technology is really the ‘secret sauce’ for the future of residential rooftop solar,” said Interim Chairman Doug Little. “Emerging storage technologies will allow rooftop solar customers to time shift energy produced during non-peak hours for use during peak times, helping them save money on their electric bills”.

The study will evaluate a 75-home rate lab exploring combinations of behind-the-meter technologies to help manage customer demand, shift load, and meet system requirements. The installations will begin in the first quarter of 2016 with data collection continuing through 2017. The Commission also directed APS to propose a program that encourages the deployment of energy storage.

Last month, the Commission also approved UNS Electric’s Renewable Energy plan that is on schedule for 2016. Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative submitted its plan last month as well that increases its renewable energy.