Clean Power Photo courtesy First Solar

Published on December 16th, 2011 | by Andrew

2

Lower Solar Power Prices, Growth & Savings Lead to Reduction in Arizonans’ 2012 Utility Bills

December 16th, 2011 by  

Photo courtesy First Solar

Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) customers will see there electric bills drop $0.21 a month as a result of falling solar panel prices and cost savings realized on the utility’s renewable energy program, the Arizona Republicreports.

APS charges customers a monthly tariff to provide incentives for them to make use of renewable energy and improve the energy efficiency of their homes and businesses. The state’s utility regulator, the Arizona Corporation Commission, voted late Wednesday to reduce the tariff from a maximum $4.05 to a maximum $3.84 per month.

APS’ 2012 budget is increasing, to $106 million from $96 million, even with the renewable energy/energy conservation tariff reduction. APS is rolling $19 million that was either saved or earned via its news solar power plants through state production tax credits into the 2012 budget, APS’ renewable energy director Eran Mahrer told Arizona Republic reporter Ryan Randazzo.

All Good News

“In a sense, it is all good news. We will meet our (renewable energy) targets and are on track to exceed them,” Mahrer was quoted as saying.

Arizona’s Corporation Commission requires utilities to obtain 15% of their energy from renewable sources by 2025. The Corporation Commission approves an annual tariff that’s applied to all customers to help offset the up-front capital costs of developing renewable energy production projects.

Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump noted that polls show that Arizonans want more solar energy and are willing to pay more for it. As a result of falling solar panel prices and APS’ savings, they’ll be able to get more solar and renewable energy and pay less for it, at least in 2012.

The negotiations over the state’s tariff also showed just how fast the public, and commercial power producers and distributors, are embracing solar and renewable energy given the right type and mix of incentives. It also shows that the state’s solar and renewable energy targets are, if anything, too low.

2025 Solar, Renewable Energy Targets Too Modest

APS has so many rooftop solar projects installed that it could have met the state requirements for those sources without any new investments in 2012, which was included as part of one of three budget options it presented to commissioners. Some solar companies objected, and the commission came up with a compromise.

APS pays an annual rebate for commercial rooftop solar power systems based on the amount of power they generate. The rate at which APS pays rebates for homeowners who install solar power systems has come down drastically.

APS was paying homeowner rebates worth more than $3 per watt of solar power capacity a few years ago, Randazzo notes. 2012 homeowner rebates will start at $0.75 and decrease in steps as homeowners install more systems.

Utility vs. Homeowner Owned Solar

In addition, the commission authorized APS to enter contracts for large, commercial rooftop solar power systems worth $100 million or more over their lifetime. That’s going to carry over through 2012.

Mahrer said he expects maintaining the same budget for large, commercial rebates in 2012 may yield as much as 50% more solar power generating capacity because of the drop in solar panel prices and because the subsidies cost less per project. The same holds true for residential solar power, he said.

Some smaller solar power companies objected to the rebate rate reduction, arguing that it will hurt them, and individual home and business uptake of solar energy across Arizona. Keith Rowley, president/CEO of Solar Electric Systems and Products in Mesa, said his 10-employee company will have difficulty adding new customers with the rebate rate reduction.

Utility companies, he was quoted as saying, “want to own all the solar.” “On large power plants (built by out-of-state companies) all the money and tax credits go out of state.” 
 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
 
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.



  • Solar is cheaper than the grid in Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, southern California and parts of Texas. In places with high DNI (Direct Normal Irradiance) CPV will become much more prevalent. The best CPV solar cells have gone from 32% in 2000 to 43.5% today. Other advancements on the horizon should get system efficiency past 40% within two year. Some of these may include the Rainbow Concentrator by Sol Solution and low profile concentrator by Morgan Solar As the efficiency goes up and the price goes down, the geographic range where solar is less than the grid will increase.

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

    cost-of-solar-down
  • Search the IM Network


Shares