Saturday, March 25th, 2017 - 9:35 pm 
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State & Local News

Date: Thursday, Nov. 5
Time: 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Title: Can Green Homes become the standard in Scottsdale? A Look at Scottsdale's New Green Home Standards

Location: Scottsdale Granite Reef Senior Center, 1700 N. Granite Reef Road (northwest corner of McDowell and Granite Reef, behind the convenience store)

We’ve been busy updating standards for what home dwellers expect in a green healthy home. Why does it matter and how we can do better? Get the answers to these questions and more at the Nov. 5 Green Building lecture season opener. Participants will get an overview of the city’s updated green home standards and will hear about practical applications from Alan Kravitz, Bella Verde Homes; Tom Norris, Norris Architects; and Kevin Edwards, Edwards Design Group. They will discuss how the new green home standards are being used in their projects to create healthier, water resourceful and energy efficient environments which include “living fences,” developer supplied vegetable gardens, rain water collection, gray water reuse, cooler paving materials, ground source heating and cooling, solar powered micro-grid, and universal design for aging in place.

Speakers:

  • Alan M. Kravitz, AIA, President, Bella Verde Homes
  • Kevin Edwards, Principal, Edwards Design Group
  • Tom Norris, AIA, Norris Architects

For more details aobut the speakers, go to newsletters.scottsdaleaz.gov/list/h1pjwnrp/151103C/ea4bdn.vib?a0=719

Admission: The lecture series is sponsored by the Scottsdale Green Building Program. The lectures are free and open to the public; no reservations are needed.

Contact: Anthony Floyd, green building program manager, city of Scottsdale, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
480-312-4202.

Subject:

Follow up to Interconnection Workshop

Date:

Fri, Mar 20, 2015 3:51 pm

From:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

APS

Stakeholders,

 

Thanks to all who attended the February 9th interconnection workshop or sent written comments—we received terrific suggestions and feedback.  Presentation materials are posted at aps.com/renewables. We were asked to provide a summary of changes to our interconnection requirements, and we posted it to the same page. The 2015 interconnection requirements themselves (rev. 8.0) are now posted at aps.com/dg, and all updates are highlighted for your convenience. Careful attention to the APS Interconnection Requirements will greatly speed the customer’s interconnection time!

   

Without further ado, here is the list of questions from the forum about the process of interconnection—that we promised to address:

   

Q. Why is APS taking test meters that are not marked with a  RECYCLE sticker?

A. We should not be!  Please email us with a reservation ID if this occurs and we’ll rectify the situation.  We have escalated this with our field services team to ensure this does not happen. Per Section 9 of the Interconnection Requirements, for fast-track residential interconnections, you can now simply provide a meter cover made of approved materials such as Plexiglas, rather than leaving a test meter—this will reduce the chance of similar errors in the future.  Please note that as we discussed on 2/9, test meters are required for systems 12kW-AC+; systems with 3+ inverters; supply side taps; or battery systems.

 

Q.  What is the APS policy on lockboxes?

A. They may be allowed on some commercial installations if a facility cannot comply with the APS 24/7 access policy; they are not allowed on residential installations.  We have updated our interconnection requirements to clarify the commercial facility exception.

 

Q.  Does APS have a guide to reading meters?
A. Yes.  Instructions for reading bi-directional and non-standard (production) meters are at aps.com.  Regardless of type, a meter’s display cycles through several fields of data, but total kWh flashes immediately after the time is shown.  If customers need help, they may call 602-328-1924 or 1-800-659-8148 for assistance.

 

Q.  (1) Can APS show more fields on the installer report?  (2) If an installer is also listed as the dealer, can the online application navigation be changed so that you stay in the application after one certification has been processed and more quickly complete the other certification?  (3) Can a comments section be added to the installer view to provide more transparency on redlines?  (4) Can you add a message center to broadcast application queue/work flow “APS is processing applications submitted on XXX date.”  (5) Can APS clarify language in approval emails to reduce customer confusion?
A.  We liked these suggestions, and we have completed item (2) already.  It’s our hope to implement all of these changes; please stay tuned.

 

Q.  Can APS review interconnection applications redlines in a separate queue, rather than the customer going to the back of the line based on the newer submittal date?
A.  We are open to both collapsing steps and changing the redline review procedure, and are reviewing these streamline options internally right now. We’ll get back with you shortly.

 

Q.  For O&M, we don’t want to wait for APS to remove the lock, seal, or meter.  How can we proceed with our work?
A.  We have a same-day service where APS will pull meters and then return to reinstall them—please utilize this document as your guide to contact APS for upgrades, de-rates, repairs, expansions, etc. Cutting locks/seals or removing meters is considered tampering and will be reported to law enforcement if warnings do not halt this practice.

 

Q. Will APS allow electronic signatures on the disclaimer document?
A. Unfortunately, this is not possible while regulatory decision language requires APS to collect a “hand-signed” document.

 

Q. The online certification asks installers to verify they have been paid in full; is this segment of the certification still needed?
A. No, it is not; the paid-in-full invoice is an artifact of our incentive program requirements and has been ruled as not applicable to the interconnection program. We are removing this language from the certifications. 

 

Q. Is APS making any outbound calls to customers that delay the meter set?
A. APS encourages customers to call 602-328-1924 or 800-659-8148 regarding their service plans.  An outbound call to customers with specific services plans (such as combined advantage or electric vehicle rates, for example) is triggered by our meter set request.  To avoid delay, customers should return our call as soon as possible so that we can complete the meter set in a timely manner.

 

Q. Several permitting questions arose.  Is it okay with APS for Prescott Valley to require a reservation ID prior to issuing a permit?  Paradise Valley isn’t issuing green tags—how can we avoid delays in that circumstance?
 A. The authorities having jurisdiction set their own rules, however, we have reached out to Yavapai County to explain that we no longer have an incentive program.  We explained that it is certainly best practice for the customer to receive interconnection approval prior to the system being built, but we understood that sometimes permit applications are sent to the AHJs in advance of when the APS interconnection application is submitted—this in itself does not violate our process. Regarding Paradise Valley, APS still receives clearances from them directly—we’ll continue to note the clearance in the application once the clearance desk posts it to the customer’s account (this occurs the same day it is received from the AHJ).

 

Now that we have held the interconnection workshop and published the 2015 revision of the interconnection requirements, we are using the updated requirements and associated plan documents as our guide, and changes are effective 3/30/2015.  To avoid delays, please use only the 2015 materials as your guide when developing your interconnection applications/designs, and email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions. 

 

Thank you!

Sincerely,

APS Renewable Energy Program
 

Subject:

APS Renewable Energy - Important Year-End Updates

Date:

Tue, 23 Dec 2014 12:17:46 -0700

From:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

APS

Stakeholders,


We have some important announcements.

  • On December 19, 2014, the Arizona Corporation Commission voted 4-1 that it had no objection to APS implementing its AZ Sun residential rooftop solar program to target specific distribution feeders in an effort to maximize potential system benefits from the deployment. We will soon hold a stakeholder meeting to discuss next steps. Please watch for an invitation in early January.
  • We will be cleaning up our residential interconnection application queue on January 5, 2015.
    • Customers who submitted an interconnection request (called the “customer application”) in 2014 but have not provided a contract or signed disclaimer by January 4, 2015 will receive a cancelation notice and will need to re-apply in 2015 when they are ready to move forward.
       
    • Customers who in 2014 have started/saved the customer application but have not submitted it by January 4, 2015 will also need to reapply in 2015.
    • Customers who have submitted the customer application and uploaded a contract and signed disclaimer to the online application by January 4, 2015 will not be canceled. We are clearing the queue of customers that have not fully completed step 1 of the interconnection process so that their 2015 interconnection is completed using the correct customer application.
       
  • We are clarifying and streamlining our interconnection requirements, sample design documents, and checklists. A quick reminder – confidentiality stamps have never been accepted, so please be sure that your designs do not contain any language that can be construed as a copyright. These changes will be published in early January. As always, access interconnection requirements and related materials at aps.com/dg. Changes will be effective February 10, 2015, but we will be noting your interconnection applications and design documents and reminding you of the changes as soon as the new requirements are published, to help the transition along.
  • We are hosting an Interconnection Workshop from 8 am - 5 pm on February 9, 2015. The workshop will be held at the APS Ocotillo Sun training rooms. Snacks, beverages and lunch will be provided. We look forward to an excellent conversation between our engineers and your design professionals, crew leaders, and application coordinators. RSVP by Friday, January 16, 2015. Each attendee from your company must be included in your RSVP to receive an advance copy of the agenda and avoid security check-in problems.
  • The export feature of the residential online application portal is now working for those installers with more than 700 line items. For those of you who have never used this feature, it’s simple – log in to aps.com and, at your home page, select "Export to Excel". You can then filter the application by the columns provided. This is a powerful tool, and we wanted to be sure you were aware that it was now working for all installers.
  • The Arizona Goes Solar map has been repaired. Thanks to those of you who brought the data irregularities to our attention.

Thank you, and may your holidays be joyous!

Sincerely,

APS Renewable Energy Program


aps.com | 400 N 5 Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004 | (602) 328-1924

 

Leased Solar Panels are facing property tax

An Arizona Department of Revenue new interpretation of an existing rule is causing concern in the solar community that leased solar panels will be assessed property tax. If the tax is assessed, all solar leased systems in Arizona will be subject to this "new" tax.

TUSD Solar Panels Expected to Save Taxpayers Money

Tucson Unified School District is installing solar panels on 40 schools throughout the district and anticipates saving $11 million over 20 years.
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So we know that homeowners have a number of reasons for going solar. Now, a University of Arizona study plans to delve deeper into the question, to see what really motivates homeowners to go solar.
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From Sin City to Wind City

This week,Sin City will be transformed into Wind City. Students from Northern Arizona University provide this behind-the-scenes look at their team's participation in the Department of Energy's inaugural Collegiate Wind Competition in Las Vegas.
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From:       SRPSOLAR - DEPT ID [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent:        Wednesday, April 02, 2014 1:53 PM
Subject:   SRP SOLAR INCENTIVE LEVELS ANNOUNCED FOR FY15 (MAY 1, 2014 - APRIL 30, 2015)

SRP is announcing new incentives for our fiscal year beginning May 1. Please see below for program specific information on incentive levels, high-level program changes, and links to SRP web pages for more information.

Residential Solar Incentive Program

SRP’s Residential Solar Electric Program – FY15 Incentive Level $0.05/watt

The residential solar electric incentive rate will be $0.05/watt for all residential projects, retrofit and new construction.  SRP has reserved $537,500 to add 10.75MW of residential solar electric retrofit capacity in fiscal year 2015 (May 1, 2014 – April 30, 2015). Additionally, SRP has reserved $62,500 for homebuilders to add 1.25MW of new solar electric capacity.On May 1, 2014, updated application and program documents will be available online atwww.srpnet.com/solarcontractor.  If you have any questions about the residential solar electric program, please contact us by emailatThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or by phone at (602) 236-4661. 

SRP’s Residential Solar Water Heating Program – FY15 Incentive Level $0.30 per kWh

The residential solar water heating incentive rate will be $0.30/kWh ($0.24/kWh for a prorated system). SRP has reserved $504,000 for residential solar water heating system installations in FY15. Only electric back-up systems are eligible for this program. Also, the entire electric system must be OG-300 rated and cannot use any type of gas appliance whether or not it is in use. On May 1, 2014, updated application and program documents will be available online athttp://www.srpnet.com/environment/earthwise/solar/watercontractor.aspx. If you have any questions about the solar water heater program please contact us by emailatThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or by phone at (602) 236-4662. 

Commercial Solar Incentive Program

SRP’s Commercial Solar Electric Program – FY15 Incentive Level $0.05/watt

The commercial solar electric incentive rate will be $0.05/watt for all non-residential projects.  SRP has reserved $300,000 to add 6MW of commercial solar electric system capacity in fiscal year 2015. Of the 6 MW, 3 MW of capacity has been reserved for schools, non-profits, and governmental entities. The incentive will be capped at $15,000 for all projects. SRP will no longer offer Production Based Incentives in FY15.  On May 1, 2014, updated application and program documents will be available online at www.srpnet.com/solarbiz.  If you have any questions about the commercial solar electric program, please contact us by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at (602) 236-4663.

SRP’s Commercial Solar Water Heating Program – FY15 No Incentive

The commercial solar water heating incentive program will no longer be offered after April 30, 2014 due to lack of participation in this program.

SRP’s incentive levels for FY14 will be honored (up to program caps) for all complete applications submitted to SRP by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

As a reminder, solar customers must submit an SRP Residential Solar Electric Program application, regardless of whether an incentive is being requested. All solar installations in SRP’s service area must meet SRP’s interconnection requirements and be approved by SRP.

SRP Solar Energy Team

Salt River Project

Mail Station PAB355 | P.O. Box 52025 | Phoenix, AZ 85072-2025

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Morningstar placed Pinnacle West (APS parent company) on the list of three most likely utilities to suffer the death spiral.  

From Mines to Megawatts the Promise of Conflict Free Big-Solar

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The city of Tucson has made a formal proposal to become the home of a $5 billion "gigafactory" for lithium-ion batteries for electric cars.
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Arizona's Solar Fight Moves to Tax Credits

Solar Plant Plans Heating Up For Chino Valley

At its Jan. 14 regular meeting, the Chino Valley Town Council approved a conditional use permit for a 20-megawatt photovoltaic solar facility immediately north of the northwest corner of the Town.

 

Building Better Homes In Indian Country

Tribes are using green building techniques in new homes. The movement is still in its early stages, but the projects are replicable . It's a matter of workforce development and teaching these skills to the next generation."

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Phoenix Tries To Rise Above the Flames

 

Phoenix is the poster-child for the "Urban Heat-Island". Studies show that asphalt finished with a special green or blue coating stay about 20 degrees cooler than conventional black lots. Spread that across the thousands of lots that freckle the valley's sprawl, and you could begin to combat a problem largely of the city's own making: the hellish heat that now dominates its summers.

 

Mesa Agrees to Solar Lease for Municipal Buildings

The City of Mesa has entered into a solar lease for PV installations at a fire station/police station and a multigenerational center. The installations, on parking canopies, is estimated to save $660,000 in utility costs over the 20-year lease agreement.
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PPA Approved In Western Arizona

La Paz County and the Town of Parker vote to approve solar power purchase agreement.
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Three More Schools Go On Solar Grid in San Luis

Four San Luis schools are now drawing their power from the sun. The Gadsden Elementary School District's solar installations are rated at 1.8 MW.
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Solar Plant Plans Heating Up For Chino Valley

At its Jan. 14 regular meeting, the Chino Valley Town Council approved a conditional use permit for a 20-megawatt photovoltaic solar facility immediately north of the northwest corner of the Town.

 

Building Better Homes In Indian Country

Tribes are using green building techniques in new homes. The movement is still in its early stages, but the projects are replicable . It's a matter of workforce development and teaching these skills to the next generation."

Read more

 

Phoenix Tries To Rise Above the Flames

 

Phoenix is the poster-child for the "Urban Heat-Island". Studies show that asphalt finished with a special green or blue coating stay about 20 degrees cooler than conventional black lots. Spread that across the thousands of lots that freckle the valley's sprawl, and you could begin to combat a problem largely of the city's own making: the hellish heat that now dominates its summers.

 

Mesa Agrees to Solar Lease for Municipal Buildings

The City of Mesa has entered into a solar lease for PV installations at a fire station/police station and a multigenerational center. The installations, on parking canopies, is estimated to save $660,000 in utility costs over the 20-year lease agreement.
(article has been removed)

 

PPA Approved In Western Arizona

La Paz County and the Town of Parker vote to approve solar power purchase agreement.
Read more

 

Three More Schools Go On Solar Grid in San Luis

Four San Luis schools are now drawing their power from the sun. The Gadsden Elementary School District's solar installations are rated at 1.8 MW.
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Ten months into the city using solar energy to power four of its buildings, city leaders are saying the results so far have exceeded their expectations.

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Professor Mike Pasqualetti spent the last week in the Palestinan city of Nablus as the lead instructor in a joint professional development training program between An-Najah National University and ASU.

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Note: Dr. Pasqueletti is a member of the Arizona Solar Center Board.

Georgia's solar energy businesses and consumers won an important victory yesterday with the state’s largest utility, Georgia Power, dropping a proposed solar customer charge after experiencing overwhelming Commission and staff disapproval.

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Washington Gas Energy Systems Inc. has signed a contract with Tucson Electric Power (TEP) to build, own and operate a 1 MW solar array that will provide renewable energy to the utility in Tucson, Ariz.

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Across the U.S., utilities are squaring off against solar in what may be the dirtiest fight in clean energy. In one corner is the industry behind the electrical grid as we've known it, more or less, for a century. The challenger, still a pipsqueak in terms of market share—less than 1 percent of U.S. power—is rooftop solar. 

Those rooting for solar were historically environmentally conscious consumers willing to spend more to reduce their carbon footprint, but solar is now economically attractive to a broader base. Some utilities maintain this is because solar customers enjoy benefits at the expense of everyone else on the grid, and they're lobbying to have solar-incentivizing regulations eliminated or replaced.

Read more...

Arizona has become the first US state to introduce a charge on rooftop PV users in what America’s solar industry has described as a “precedent-setting” action. At the end of a two-day hearing over an increasingly contentious issue, the Arizona Corporation Commission voted 3-2 in favour of allowing state utility Arizona Public Service to impose a US$0.70 per kilowatt charge on solar net metering customers.

Read more...

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) made a ruling on November 14, 2013 regarding the net metering policy for utility customers in Arizona Public Service (APS) territory. The following points clarify what residential customers need to know about the decision:

  1. Current rooftop solar customers are not affected. They are grandfathered under current net metering rules for 20 years, regardless if home ownership changes.
  2. Customers who submit a signed contract with a solar installer and an interconnection application (including all required design documents) to APS by December 31, 2013, also will be grandfathered.
  3. Starting January 1, 2014, new residential solar customers will get full retail net metering credit for the solar they produce, but they will be subject to a monthly charge to help pay for their use of the electric grid.
    1. This monthly charge, based on the size of the solar system installed, is $0.70 cents per kilowatt, or $4.90 per month for the typical sized system.
    2. APS will provide quarterly reports on the pace of rooftop solar adoption to determine any future adjustments.
    3. The new policy will be in effect until the next APS rate case, which will be filed in 2015.
If you have any other questions, contact APS by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In voting to impose a modest charge on new residential solar customers, Arizona's power regulators have ended, for the moment, a bitter fight between the rooftop solar industry and the state's main electric utility.

Read more...

Today, the Arizona Corporation Commission, by a vote of 3-2, approved changes to the rules and rates applying to rooftop solar in the Arizona Public Service territory. Chairman Bob Stump and Commissioners Susan Bitter-Smith and Bob Burns voted in favor. Commissioners Gary Pierce and Brenda Burns voted against the motion.

A fee of 70 cents per kilowatt/per month will take effect on Jan 1, 2014 for all new solar rooftop customers. The charge to new solar customers will average $4.48 per month. The fee will be in place until the next APS rate case can address the issue of cost-shift in greater detail.

Commissioners also agreed to review the rate of solar adoption on a quarterly basis and consider any adjustment to the fee at that time.

All rooftop solar homeowners as of Dec. 31, 2013 will be grandfathered under the existing rules and rates.

APS opposed the final proposal as not being in the best interest of its customers. The solar industry and the Residential Utility Consumer Office and ACC staff agreed to the final solution.

"While it is an interim solution, this compromise provides certainty for homeowners, installers, utility and ratepayers," said Jim Arwood, Communications Director for the Arizona Solar Center. "The industry testified that 70 cents would not kill solar in Arizona. Plus, there was agreement to have a broader discussion in the next rate case where so many additional options can be explored. The Commission also honored an action take by previous Commissions by upholding rates and rules that apply to existing rooftop solar homeowners."

More than 1,000 solar supporters showed up to a rally at the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) in the U.S. state of Arizona on November 13th, 2013, to express their opposition to a utility proposal to modify the state's net metering policy.

This marked the first of two days of hearings that the ACC is holding on Arizona Public Service Co.'s (APS, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.) proposed changes to the policy, which would give solar photovoltaic (PV) system owners a credit at a substantially lower rate than retail electricity rates for the power they produce.

Read more...

Three Yuma Union High School District schools have gone solar through the APS Solar for Schools Program.

School and public officials along with students and APS employees met last week to celebrate the installations of solar panels on their campuses.

Read more...

The question to ask in the debate launched by Arizona Public Service Co. about rooftop-solar energy is easy: What is the “right” price that APS should pay for energy produced by rooftop-solar panels?

Read more...

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The Story of the Year is Fake

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”  --Winston Churchill

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