Tuesday Energy Blogging: Important hearing before the Corp Comm tomorrow.

29 Jun 2010 11:43 pm
Posted by: Donna

Or today, since it’s almost midnight and most of y’all read my posts in the morning.

Wednesday June 30th, the Arizona Corporation Commission will decide whether or not Solar City (a solar installer based in CA) can enter into a contract with the Scottsdale Unified School District to equip them with solar panels. In return, the school district will cede tax credits to Solar City and pay them for the use and maintenance of the energy-producing equipment. Ultimately, this will lead to lower utility bills for SUSD and a warm sustainability fuzzy for the community.

No problem, right?

Oh but the utility companies are deeply concerned about this. Why, those solar energy pishers need regulation! They ought to be considered regulated utilities in accordance with the Arizona Constitution! Solar installations on school buildings should be subject to the same rules as gas, coal, and nuclear plants!

No really, they shouldn’t. But the utility giants don’t like the competition. Boo hoo. Here’s the nitty gritty: The Solar City deal with the Scottsdale school district is a business contract between sophisticated stakeholders. It’s not like your association with your monopolistic utility company as a consumer, where the Corporation Commission is the only thing standing between you and them sticking you with astronomical utility rates. If Solar City screws SUSD over, the school district has considerable legal remedies at their disposal and the resources to pursue them. You don’t, vis a vis APS. See the difference?


  1. Comment by dude on June 30, 2010 4:01 am

    But but but Spain tried generating some solar power and now their economy is in ruins! If we let Scottsdale schools put solar panels on their roofs we risk high unemployment and economic stagnation! We can’t let that happen here! Send all those solar manufacturers back to Mexico.

  2. Comment by JustJoeP on June 30, 2010 9:41 am

    Back to Mexico, back to China, back to all those places not governed by right wing extremists who pander to their base. Kidding aside, government buy-in is essential for consistent, wide-spread, Green initiative implementation. To illustrate this clearly, one needs only to simply drive from the Netherlands into Germany on E22, and then turn south on the German Highway 31. The terrain is the same, the wind velocities and frequencies don’t care about the Netherlands-German border, but you won’t see a wind turbine installed in the Western Netherlands because the Dutch government did not subsidize turbine installations. The German government however passed a law that said ‘10% of all energy produced must be renewable’, and you cannot drive a kilometer without seeing multiple, massive, 3 MW wind turbines, spinning cleanly along highway 31. This was an eye opener to me, 2 years ago, when I last drove this route.

    We’ll see how well SUSD’s & Solar City’s deal goes, here in red state territory.

  3. Comment by Truth08 on June 30, 2010 1:45 pm

    Az’s Corporation Commission, new candidate, is another “fear mongering” Russel Pearce wannabe. Though this is “off topic”, I sure hope your blog has some pull with L. Heredia, and the democratic party, Donna.

    For at the very least, this person needs to be kept away from any elected position!!


    P/S Maybe you have some contacts, that you could sway, into spending some funds to have this “baffoon” exposed.

  4. Comment by Timmys Cat on July 1, 2010 8:39 am

    Ah, I does miss me the good old days of Gooper meme.

    The market will self regulate!
    Industry will police itself!
    Regulations are choking industry so much we can’t compete!
    We must become energy independent!-which invariably leads to my fave -Drill Baby Drill!

    But the utility giants don’t like the competition.

    Ding-ding-ding! Dinosaur meet mammal. As you pointed out, this a localized business deal. It’s not as if SolarCity has miles of flammable gas or oil pipelines or high voltage power lines.
    This looks to be a cottage indusrtry which is most likely best served by (eek!) federal standards and city codes.

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