At 10 am tomorrow morning (Monday, Jan 24), new Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) chairman Gary Pierce takes his first stab at undoing the accomplishments of his predecessor, Kris Mayes regarding renewable energy standards and R&D (research and development).
Arizona Revised Statutes 40-252 gives the ACC the authority to re-open previous decisions/rulings. However, there appears to be litigation history putting limits on doing so.
Even though the ACC prior to this month was made up of three Republicans and two Democrats, same as it is now, Republican Commissioner Kris Mayes was very much a proponent of renewable energy and a big advocate for the solar industry in Arizona. ACC chair Mayes, no longer eligible for re-election due to term limits, was replaced by former Arizona Senate President Brenda Burns. Ms. Burns presided over the state senate when the epic Alt-Fuels Debacle was passed without adequate public review, ultimately costing Arizona taxpayers several hundred MILLION dollars before emergency legislation could be implemented to stop the bleeding.
The decision ACC chair Pierce is attacking now involves Arizona Public Service (APS), a regulated Investor-Owned Utility (IOU). APS submitted written comments on January 13 in anticipation of tomorrow's hearing.
From the linked comments,
"As APS understands it, the Commission’s proposed modifications are not in response to any change of conditions that has arisen since the final decision in this matter was entered or in consideration of any other new circumstance not contemplated when the Commission finally approved APS’s 2011 RES [Renewable Energy Standard] Implementation Plan. Rather, the Commission seeks to reopen a final decision solely to effectuate a contemplated post-election change in Commission policy."
This is the beginning of what Arizona voters asked for, most likely without realizing the actual ramifications, by re-electing Gary Pierce and electing Brenda Burns.
UPDATE -- Jan 25, 11am
No vote or decision was made during yesterday's hearing other than to continue the hearing. It will resume at 9am Friday, Jan 28. I understand the ACC wants APS to provide back up and documentation for some claims it made yesterday during testimony.