- Arizona Public Service (APS), the state’s dominant electricity provider, filed with regulators for approval of a plan to build rooftop solar for 3,000 customers at no cost and give them each a $30 per month bill credit in return for the electricity the solar systems deliver to the APS grid.
- APS expects a cumulative 20 megawatts of solar capacity from its $57 million to $70 million total investment that allots $7,200 for each participating utility customer, owners or owner-approved renters, with no financial participation, no credit check of them and only APS pre-approval of the involved roof for its solar resource and structural viability.
- With the 200 megawatts of solar power plant capacity from its AZ Sun program, APS has been ahead of schedule on meeting Arizona’s 15% by 2025 renewables mandate and its 3% solar carve-out, so the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has postponed approving any plan for the utility’s last required 20 megawatts, but the ACC could see new financial benefits for the utility and its customers in this shift to a new rooftop solar business model.
Implicit in the proposal is the recognition by APS of the value of rooftop solar to its system and its non-solar-owning customers. The APS plan will put the utility in direct competition with solar leasing companies like SolarCity and Sunrun which were its nemesis in last year’s fight over net energy metering.
The $30 monthly bill credit proposed for the APS program is significantly more than the perhaps $20 per month savings offered by the solar leasing companies. APS has already conducted a rooftop solar pilot program of 125 solar systems in Flagstaff but this proposal is bigger than any U.S. utility rooftop solar program so far.