This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 08, 2006

Arizona Establishes Higher Renewable Energy Requirements

Aerial photo of about 15 rows of solar panels stretching into the distance in desert, with two large tripod mounted systems and more panels in the background.

Arizona's existing renewable energy requirement encouraged utilities to build solar power systems, including this two-megawatt facility near Prescott. Credit: Arizona Public Service

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) voted on February 28th to require the state's regulated utilities to draw on renewable energy for 15 percent of their electricity production by 2025. For 2006, utilities must meet 1.25 percent of their power needs with renewable energy. Some of the renewable power must come from distributed energy sources, such as solar power systems on homes or businesses. In 2007, distributed energy must supply 5 percent of the renewable power, increasing to 30 percent after 2011. The new standard replaces an existing standard that topped out at 1.1 percent in 2007, but required half of the power to come from solar energy. Before taking effect, the new rules must be reviewed by the Arizona Attorney General's office, followed by a formal rulemaking by the Arizona Secretary of State. The ACC expects binding regulations to take effect later this year. See the ACC press release and the draft rules (PDF 706 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

The new requirements align closely with a Sustainable Energy Portfolio approved by the Salt River Project (SRP) Board of Directors in early February. The portfolio sets a target of meeting 15 percent of SRP's retail sales with sustainable resources by 2025. The SRP serves nearly 860,000 customers in the Phoenix area and is not regulated by the ACC. See the SRP press release.