Arizona Public Service Company is the largest electric utility in Arizona and the subsidiary of publicly-traded S&P 500 member Pinnacle West Capital Corporation. The utility provides power for nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties.
Despite the fact that Arizona is the sunniest state in the U.S., it is falling far behind on solar installations, and by the end of 2015, the state had fallen from second in total U.S. installed solar to sixth.
In fact, New Jersey, a state with far less solar energy resource potential, has more small-scale distributed rooftop solar than Arizona. There are 793 megawatts of solar installed in New Jersey compared to 609 megawatts in Arizona.
Why would the sunniest state in the U.S. have so little solar, when solar power purchase agreements have been signed in the Southwestern U.S. for 4 to 6 cents/kWh?
Why, then, is Arizona less than 4% solar and over 40% coal?
One reason is that Arizona utilities make far more money running old, polluting coal plants that generate electricity for around 3 cents/kWh, than risking a loss of sales to solar energy. Although utility-scale solar in Arizona has been as cheap as new natural gas for a number of years, utilities like Arizona Public Service have not lived up to the state’s solar potential.
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Recent Posts About Arizona Public Service
Arizona Corporation Commissioner Andy Tobin asked monopoly utility APS why it plans to invest in so much natural gas, and so little solar energy and energy storage, over the next 15 years.
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Last week, Arizona regulators filed a plan to eliminate the state’s energy efficiency program. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) staff submitted the proposal on Tuesday and the five commissioners will vote on the plan. The ACC adopted the energy efficiency […]
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