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Arizona Corporation Commission Presses Forward with New Energy Policies and Potential Updates to Energy Rules

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by Michael W. Patten

Over the past two years, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has been considering how to address the rapidly changing electric energy landscape.  Through a variety of proceedings, the ACC is reviewing existing energy-related rules, considering (and adopting) policy statements regarding emerging issues and conducting workshops on a variety of energy-related topics.

In the past few months, the ACC adopted policy statements on biomass energy, electric vehicle infrastructure and alternative electricity supply options.  Proceedings are ongoing to determine how best to implement these policies.

The ACC is also in the process of adopting rules for the interconnection of distributed generation and storage into utility grids (ACC Docket No. RU-00000A-07-0609).  The proposed rules are the result of a series of workshops that received input from industry, individuals and other interested parties.  The formal rulemaking is expected to conclude in the next few months.

One of the more interesting tasks before the ACC involves how to modernize – and potentially integrate – several ACC rules that have been in place for more than a decade.  The ACC currently has Integrated Resource Planning rules, Renewable Energy Standard rules, Net Metering rules and Electric Energy Efficiency rules, all of which are standalone rules that were adopted in separate rulemakings.  In what could turn out to be a landmark proceeding on energy issues in Arizona, the ACC will be considering modifications to these rules in the context of several other topics, including Baseload Security, Forest Biomass, the Statutory Biennial Transmission Assessment, and Technological Developments in Generation and Delivery of Energy, in a workshop on April 29, 2019 (Docket No. RU-00000A-18-0284).  This workshop is a continuation of a process that has been ongoing since last year and will likely continue throughout 2019.