- Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed into a law a bill that prohibits solar installers from installing a residential solar array until the utility has at least 60 days to process the interconnection application and determines whether the array might affect grid reliability, the Arizona Republic reports.
- The bill was met with frustration from the solar sector, who argue the new law was backed by APS to hurt solar installations by increasing "red tape and costs," according to Kim Sanders, the Sunrun director of public policy.
- But one of the state's major power players, Arizona Public Service, welcomed the legislation, saying it gives them time to process the backlog in applications, which they said was created by a 20% increase in solar growth last year.
Mounting frustration from the solar sector over APS' backlog of applications just ticked up a notch by the latest legislation signed off by Gov. Doucey.
Solar sectors condemned the law as inconsistent with Gov. Doucey's 2015 moratorium on regulatory rulemaking, which prohibits all state agencies from conducting any new rulemaking.
“Our position throughout the legislative session was that it was inconsistent with the governor’s moratorium on new regulations,” Sunrun's Sanders told the news outlet.
But APS's renewable energy program manager Marc Romito told Arizona Republic that the new law will alleviate the workload of the utility's 18-person staff sifting through applications. At least 66% have been found to be deficient in some aspect, and many solar installers put up arrays before filing an application, Romito said.
Language in the new law requires solar installers to provide “a full and accurate summary of the total costs under the agreement for maintaining and operating the distributed energy generation system over the life of the distributed energy generation system, including financing, maintenance and construction costs.”
The bill also requires solar installers to provide homeowners more complete information of system costs in comparison to utility rates, including how predicited savings from installing solar could be impacted by potential utility rate changes while installers are required to provide estimates "ranging from at least a 5% annual decrease to at least a 5% annual increase from current utility costs applied to the duration of the agreement in 1% increments.”