AZ Corporation Commission Adopts First-of-its-kind Storage Standard

AriSEIA, Solar United Neighbors, Sunrun and Vote Solar applaud the Arizona Corporation Commission for adopting a 5 percent storage requirement, 40 percent of which will be customer-owned or leased distributed storage, by 2035. The storage amendment passed Thursday 4-1 as the Commission deliberated new energy standards for regulated utilities.

“Battery storage can open up so many additional uses for rooftop solar,” said Bret Fanshaw, Solar United Neighbors Arizona Program Director. “Households will be able to save money and reduce costs on the electricity system by storing solar power during the day and using it when the sun goes down. With this standard, we are excited for all of the benefits of solar-plus-storage to take hold in Arizona.”

The distributed storage requirement will drive the deployment of more than roughly 200 megawatts of customer-owned or leased energy storage in Arizona Public Service (APS) and Tucson Electric Power (TEP) service territories by 2035, the equivalent of an estimated 40,000 home battery storage systems. The policy also requires that utilities offer incentive and tariff programs to help customers adopt battery storage and receive credits for any stored energy used by the utility, if needed.

“Arizonans value energy freedom, and the built-in opportunity for customer-owned storage will help more Arizonans enjoy the freedom of choice,” said Nicole LaSlavic, Executive Director of the Arizona Solar Energy Industry Association. “In this time of unprecedented uncertainty, taking control of our energy future is of utmost importance to Arizonans.”

The storage target is part of a slate of clean energy amendments passed today including 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 and 50% renewable energy by 2035. The Commission still needs to vote to move a final package forward into a formal rulemaking process.

“Arizona is charting a new course by committing to battery storage as a key part of our clean energy future. Paired with 100% carbon-free electricity, the future for Arizona is bright,” said Art Terrazas, Interior West Director at Vote Solar. “Now the Commission needs to move quickly to pass the complete package that will steer Arizona toward this bold vision for a clean energy future.”

report from Ceres on the effectiveness of the existing Arizona Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST) shows nearly $2 billion in gross benefits for APS and TEP customers since 2006. The analysis also found that the current REST created $11.62 billion in solar-industry investments, a 3% reduction in statewide greenhouse gas emissions, and savings of 7,129-acre feet of water annually, enough to serve nearly 44,000 Arizonans.

“This vote positions Arizona to be a national leader in new energy technology, giving homeowners access to rechargeable batteries that help lower electric bills while providing benefits to all Arizonans,” said Jessica Reinhardt, Senior Director of Public Policy for Sunrun. “These clean energy rules will help give Arizonans more energy choices, create good paying jobs, supercharge the local clean energy economy, and help Arizona rebuild for a brighter future.”

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