Pending Policies

These are proposed policies that we think are important to follow. You can download all of our “Pending Policies” briefs here.

Introduction to Energy Imbalance Markets: Part I

Published May 2013
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The essentials 

  • An Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) would pool in electricity generation within a region and dispatch resources.
  • This could moderate the variability of renewable generation resources and electricity demand on a least-cost basis. Participation is voluntary.
  • The Public Utility Commission Energy Imbalance Markethas proposed an EIM for the Western Interconnection.
  • The EIM would lead to lower reserve requirements and increases reliability especially during unexpected generation outages and high peak demand.
  • The EIM brings with it concerns about new reliability problems and costs that could outweigh the estimated benefits.

NGS Part II: Proposed NOx Emissions Guidelines for the Navajo Generating Station

Published April 2013
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The essentials

  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Regional Haze Rule, authorized under the Clean Air Act, requires a state or federal agency to draft plans to reduce haze and increase visibility in the nation’s National Parks.
  • On January 18, 2013, the EPA issued its air pollution limits proposal for the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) due to its proximity to the Grand Canyon National Park and ten other Class I Federal protected areas, including seven other National Parks and Wilderness Areas. The NGS is one of the largest sources of nitrogen dioxide (NOx) emissions in the United States.
  • Under these rules, NGS’s owners will be required to install Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology by 2018. Due to the NGS’s economic importance to several Native American tribes, the EPA is considering allowing a five-year extension for the installation.
  • UPDATE: The EPA is accepting public comments through August 5, 2013.

APS's Track and Record Proposal for Renewable Energy Credit Compliance

Published February 2013
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The essentials

  • In its 2013 REST implementation plan submitted to the Arizona Corporation Commission, Arizona Public Service (APS) proposed eliminating all incentives for distributed generation (DG) renewable energy systems.
  • Under the REST, regulated utilities such as APS are required to obtain a certain amount of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). One REC is created for every kilowatt hour generated, and is the property of the owner of the distributed generation system.
  • APS currently purchases its RECs by offering cash incentives to DG owners. Without incentives, APS will be unable to obtain the required amount of RECs.
  • APS proposes severing the relationship between generation of energy and ownership of RECs. Instead, APS proposes demonstrating compliance with the REST by tracking and recording all distributed energy production that is interconnected within its service territory.
  • Critics argue this would violate the REST and constitute a government taking of private property.

Navajo Generating Station Background Sheet: pre-EPA NOx and SO2 rulemaking

Published June 2012
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The essentials

  • The Navajo Generating Station (NGS) is a 2,250 megawatt coal-fired power plant located a few miles from the beginning of the Grand Canyon, within the Navajo Nation, near Page, Arizona
  • About 25% of the electricity generated at NGS is dedicated to pumping Central Arizona Project (CAP) water from the Colorado River from behind Parker Dam over 300 miles to metropolitan Phoenix and Tucson.
  • The NGS draws its cooling water from nearby Lake Powell.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of issuing new guidelines restricting air pollutants from industrial facilities that restrict visibility, including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen oxide (NOX) and sulfur dioxide (SO2).
  • The regional haze reduction guidelines will impact NGS operations, which in turn could impact community health and water quality locally, as well as water quality, water availability, and water rates in those areas served by the CAP.
  • It is feasible that these new guidelines may influence a decision to close NGS.

FERC Order 1000

Published April 2012
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The essentials

  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates interstate electricity commerce over long-distance transmission lines.
  • FERC recently issued Order No. 1000, with an initial compliance deadline of October 11, 2012.
  • The purpose of FERC Order No. 1000 is to create more competitive wholesale electricity markets by removing barriers to building new interstate transmission lines.
  • The new ruling is partly aimed at enabling regions to make transmission investments necessary to meet state renewable energy policies.

E-SIDS & PACE Financing: local solutions to up-front costs to clean energy

Published April 2012
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The essentials

  • Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Special Improvement Districts are funding mechanisms for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects within each district.
  • Funds are collected through a voluntary, 20-year property assessment tax.
  • AZ State Rep. Chad Campbell introduced Arizona HB 2298 this session, which would allow for the establishment of E-SIDS in Arizona.

Decoupling

Published March 2012
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The essentials

  • Energy efficiency may bring benefits such as less cost to consumers, fewer future rate increases, and less environment impact for energy consumption.
  • However utilities have a disincentive to invest in energy efficiency measures that reduce sales and therefore profitability.
  • A critical step for successful energy efficiency policy is a mechanism that severs the link between utility revenue and total energy sales.
  • The Arizona Corporation Commission has pursued such “decoupling” measures in several recent rate cases.

BLM RDEP draft EIS

Published March 2012
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The essentials

  • The BLM proposes to support renewable energy development while also protecting and restoring landscapes in Arizona through its Restoration Design Energy Project (RDEP).
  • The RDEP will streamline part of the initial process for renewable energy development on public lands by vetting the areas before renewable energy developers submit proposals.
  • In the BLM’s draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), the BLM identified and analyzed six Alternatives plus the required No Action Alternative.
  • The BLM’s preferred alternative is Alternative 6 Collaborative-based Renewable Energy Development Areas (REDA) and the Agua Caliente Solar Energy Zone (SEZ). Alt. 6 allows for 237,100 acres for REDAs and 6,770 acres for SEZ.
  • The public comment period on the DEIS ended May 17, 2012.

SCM 1004 Recycling spent nuclear fuel; management

Published March 2012
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The essentials

  • State Senator Al Melvin (R-26) sponsored SCM 1004, which requests access to money in the federal U.S. Nuclear Waste Fund
  • That money would be used to construct the nation’s first permanent nuclear recycling and waste storage site within Arizona
  • The federal Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future recently found an urgent need for permanent nuclear waste storage for the 65,000+ metric tons of nuclear waste in the U.S.
  • There are multiple significant risks connected with creating a permanent site, including risk from transportation of nuclear waste from the 43 states currently storing the waste and risk regarding potential groundwater contamination