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Rooftop Solar War spills into election campaign chests in Arizona Options
Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2016 4:08:56 PM

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Pinnacle West Capital Corp., which owns the state’s largest utility, last week said it has formed a third-party group to support candidates for an elected state board that regulates their industry.

It’s the latest twist in a three-year political battle that’s been punctuated by charges of undue influence, an ongoing probe by the U.S. Attorney’s office and $300,000 in threatened state fines. At stake: A board ruling on a request to raise fees and drastically cut how much homeowners are paid for the solar energy they generate. It’s a decision, foes say, with the potential to hamstring a growing renewables industry.

“It’s not surprising that you are seeing campaign-style tactics in what should be a wonky policy matter because there is a lot at stake here,” said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group. “The rooftop solar issue has become broadly politicized.”

Arizona has more then 50,000 customers with home solar and has long required utilities to pay customers for power put back into the grid (net metering). This has become a standard practice and works well, but the utilities have been fighting this from day one.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
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