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5:28 AM Thu, Oct. 18th

Arizona Corporation Commission plan calls for clean energy electricity

PHOENIX – The Arizona Corporation Commission is considering sweeping reforms that would lead the nation in clean energy usage and storage, Commissioner Andy Tobin said Tuesday.

The plan presented by Tobin calls for 80 percent of Arizona’s electricity generation to come from clean energy by 2050, along with the goal of having 3,000 megawatts of energy storage deployed by 2030.

“Living in a desert like we do, our goal has to be to address peak demand,” Tobin said. “Reducing usage in these peak windows will save Arizonans millions of dollars, but we also think we can do it in a way that is clean and maintains grid reliability.”

Arizona’s Energy Modernization Plan sets a path to clean energy by reviewing the state’s current energy policies, including the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff.

Those policies have made Arizona a national leader in the adoption of renewable energy, but Tobin says it’s time for an update.

“It’s no longer enough to just install solar panels as quickly as possible,” he said. “We need to pair these resources with new technology to maximize their effectiveness and maintain stability.”

Expanding energy storage gives Arizona the opportunity to capture low-priced energy during slow hours, and reinject that energy back into the grid during peak rate periods.

The 3,000-megawatt storage target, by far the largest such goal in the United States, is made possible by storage markets that have recently seen drastic improvements in technology along with falling costs, Tobin noted.

The full Commission will discuss and consider the policy at its open meeting Tuesday and Wednesday.

Details on the plan, including guiding principles and policies, can be found at www/azcc.gov/energyplan.