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Arizona Public Service Flips Position on Solar

APSArizona Public Service, a public utility that has fought for two years against solar systems – a fight that included an anti-solar campaign at the public’s expense – has now asked for permission to install its own residential systems and pay rent for the rooftops, according to Bloomberg.

Arizona Public Service is seeking regulatory approval to install 20 megawatts of residential solar systems on about 3,000 homes, according to a July 28 filing with the Arizona Corporate Commission. The utility is proposing to pay $30 a month for 20 years for use of consumers’ roofs.

The proposal has angered existing solar developers in the state who lost their battle against fees on solar homes last year. At that time, the Arizona Corporation Commission granted Arizona Public Service permission to charge customers 70 cents a kilowatt for the systems, which works out to $4.90 a month for a typical seven-kilowatt setup.

Arizona Public Service argued in November that customers with solar power pay less to the utility, which still must pay for the fixed costs of operating the power grid.

According to the filing, Arizona Public Service wants to charge all of its customers for the $57 million to $70 million cost of rooftop installations, plus a guaranteed profit, even for those without solar homes. By placing panels where they’re needed most and controlling the power flows remotely, all customers will benefit from a more efficient grid, according to the utility.

Arizona Public Service has urged the Arizona Corporation Commission to make a decision on its proposal by September, giving it enough time to install the systems next year.

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