- Net metering negotiations between Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) and SolarCity Corp. have broken down after one day, reports the Arizona Republic, though few details are known due to confidentiality agreements, the Arizona Republic reports.
- The utility and solar installer had come together to negotiate the rate paid to solar panel owners, an attempt to avoid ballot initiatives that were distracting from other issues in the state.
- SolarCity and APS have been the lead parties locked into a battle over net metering policies in the state for the past three years.
A bid by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to end a ballot fight over net metering rates may have failed, according to reports in the Arizona Republic. The state's largest utility and the leading solar installer in the nation spent one day discussing the rates paid to solar panel owners before walking away from the talks, according to the newspaper. No agreement was reached.
"Governor’s office staff was there to listen and observe, only providing an introduction," a spokesman told the newspaper. "My understanding is the meeting was all day, 9-5:30." The meeting took place at the law firm of Fennemore Craig, but no resolution was reached.
An APS spokesman declined to comment, citing confidentiality agreements surrounding the negotiations.
A multi-year fight between Arizona’s utilities and its distributed solar industry was headed towards a contentious chapter, when the solar industry announced a ballot initiative that would have constitutionally protected retail rate net energy metering until 2022. Investor-owned utilities responded by supporting two rival ballot measures proposed by state legislators that would have protected regulators’ authority to set net metering rates.
Gov. Ducey averted that possibility, which was distracting from debate over another ballot initiative focused on education funding, by bringing both sides to the table to negotiate.
Officials from APS and SolarCity declined to say if the decision to suspend talks was mutual.