ACC calls renewable energy storage ‘the secret sauce’ for future of solar

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) recently gave Phoenix-based Arizona Public Service (APS) approval to begin a pilot energy-storage evaluation program that has the promise of statewide benefits to consumers.

The ACC also approved APS' renewable energy plan and previously approved Tucson’s UNS Energy renewable energy plan. 

APS will develop a pilot program to evaluate residential-level energy storage and submit reports to the commission by October. The pilot program is a 75-home study to check potential technology combinations for addressing peak demand times across the area.

"Energy storage technology is really the 'secret sauce' for the future of residential rooftop solar,” ACC Interim Chairman Doug Little said. “Emerging storage technologies will allow rooftop solar customers to time shift energy produced during non-peak hours for use during peak times, helping them save money on their electric bills.”

Since 2006, the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff has obligated Arizona’s electric utilities to aim for 15 percent of their total energy to be derived from renewable resources by the year 2025, utilizing “clean” technologies such as solar, wind, biomass, biogas and geothermal sources. 

Approval of APS’ renewable energy plan allows the utility to proceed ahead of schedule with the revised goal of full compliance by 2022.

UNS Electric’s renewable energy plan already is on its targeted schedule for 2016.  

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