Arizona solar industry hinges on imminent grandfathering decision
PV Tech, January 10, 2017
The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) will decide either Tuesday or Wednesday whether to amend its recent decision on grandfathering, to alter the timing when consumers will be grandfathered under pre-existing rules. The decision will have a significant impact on the future of solar in the state.
Late last month, net metering in the state was effectively eliminated after regulators voted to replace retail net metering with a wholesale rate.
The new export rate will be based initially on the cost of energy from utility-scale solar providers, which will be much lower than the retail rate – averaging around six cents/kWh compared to around 11.5 cents/kWh.
At the time of the decision, many industry commentators claimed this decision had the potential to significantly curtail solar progress in the state; lessening demand for PV systems due to the lower rate of credit for excess solar energy production.
The new rates were to only apply to customers whose solar systems were connected to the grid after to the decision. On the other hand, customers who were connected before the decision would be grandfathered for 20 years from the date of interconnection.
In a rare case of a utility siding with solar advocates, APS appealed to regulators urging the ACC to amend its decision and consider full grandfathering for solar customers, including pending applications are also grandfathered in.
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