Arizona regulators approve APS residential energy storage pilot
- The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) last Tuesday approved plans proposed by Arizona Public Service (APS) to develop an energy storage pilot project aimed at the residential sector.
- The nod for the storage pilot came through the ACC's approval of APS's Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST) Implementation Plan, which outlines how the utility will meet Arizona's Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff set in 2006. The mandate calls for utilities statewide to have 15% renewable energy in their power mix by 2025.
- The ACC also urged APS to propose a program encouraging the deployment of energy storage outside of the pilot program.
In October, the ACC ordered a cost-benefit analysis of rooftop solar in the state after almost a year of bitter debate between utility representatives and solar advocates over proposed grid access fees for distributed solar systems. Now, Arizona Public Service has been approved to develop a develop a pilot progam aimed at evaluating the costs and benefits of residential energy storage as well.
APS must submit reports to the ACC by October 2016 that states the cost and benefits of residential level energy storage, with the study assessing a 75 home-rate lab to gauge the impacts of behind-the-meter technologies to address customer demand and shift load while meeting system requirements.
Interim Chairman Doug Little, who took over after former chairwoman Susan Bitter Smith resigned, applauded the pilot.
"Energy storage technology is really the 'secret sauce' for the future of residential rooftop solar,” Little said in a statement. “Emerging storage technologies will allow rooftop solar customers to time shift energy produced during non-peak hours for use during peak times, helping them save money on their electric bills."
APS is directed to collect data for the study until 2017, with installations set to begin in the first quarter of 2016.
- AP via Richmond Times-Dispatch Arizona utility to study time-shifting rooftop solar power
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