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Arizona Will Boost Requirement for Renewables
Arizona commissioners recently approved rules requiring regulated electric utilities to generate 15 percent of the total megawatts sold from renewable resources by 2025.
The Commission’s Renewable Energy Standards allow utilities to use solar, wind, biomass, biogas, geothermal and other similar technologies to generate “clean” energy to power Arizona’s utilities, according to the Arizona Corporation Commission. The rules package outlines what technologies qualify and allow for new and emerging technologies to be added as they become feasible.
The commissioners also required a growing percentage of the total resource portfolio to come from distributed generation – residential or non-utility owned installations. The distributed energy requirement starts at 5 percent of the total portfolio in 2007 and grows to 30 percent of the total renewable mix after 2011, according to the commission.
Unlike other states that set aggressive standards but “grandfather” or give credit for existing projects, Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standards are focused on adding new generation and taking advantage of emerging opportunities. If a utility does not meet the standard, it can apply for a waiver and go through a hearing but the commission may still assess a penalty for non-compliance.