NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: A Deeper Look At Utilities – Arizona Public Service

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, September 29:

  • TTTA Thursday-Mars Sees Threat To Chocolate In Climate Change
  • TTTA Thursday-Wearable New Energy
  • TTTA Thursday-Picture Proof That U.S. Offshore Wind Lives
  • TTTA Thursday-BMW’s Used Battery Power Plant
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Taming the Wild West: The CA ISO’s Bid For A Regional Electricity Market
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: A Closer Look At The Plunging Cost Of Battery Energy Storage
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: New arrival Spruce ups game for 'trusted energy advisor' role
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: What Utilities Are Planning For Solar
  • QUICK NEWS, September 27: Facts Check Trump – Fed Investments In Solar A Huge Success; Top Midwest Utility In $2 Billion Wind Buy; Solar Cost Increasingly Beating The Market
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Future Of Offshore Wind Foreseen
  • QUICK NEWS, September 26: The Sonification Of Climate Change; Wind Is Red, White, And Green; The New Hybrid Solar-Storage Concept Module
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Weekend Video: Good News On Climate – The Public Is Starting To Get It
  • Weekend Video: The Libertarian Failure On Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: New Energy Is Doable – And Is Being Done
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-World Gets A Step Closer To Enforceable Climate Laws
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy Ready To Power The World Future
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Sahara Sun Could Power The World
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Turbines Building Off UK Coast
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • FRIDAY WORLD, September 30:

  • Does The Oil And Gas Industry Finally See Climate Change?
  • Roadmap To The World New Energy Future Updated
  • Where In The World Better Solar Is Being Made
  • Windmaker Designing Wind Storage System

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    TODAY’S STUDY: A Deeper Look At Utilities – Arizona Public Service

    Arizona Public Service Company/Pinnacle West

    Nancy LaPlaca, July 2016 (Energy and Policy Institute)

    Summary

    Despite the fact that Arizona is the sunniest state in the U.S., it is falling far behind on solar installations, and by the close of 2015, had fallen from 2nd in total U.S. installed solar to 6th. Not-so-sunny New Jersey has more small-scale, distributed rooftop solar than AZ (793 MW in NJ vs. 609 MW in AZ).

    Why would the sunniest state in the U.S. have so little solar, when solar power purchase agreements have been signed in the Southwestern U.S. for 4 to 6 cents/kWh?

    Why is Arizona less than 4% solar and over 40% coal?

    Why, then, is Arizona less than 4% solar and over 40% coal? One reason is that Salt River Project (SRP), which has nearly 1 million meters, is not regulated and thus is not bound by the REST. SRP has only 15,000 solar roofs, plus , and its recent addition of ~$50/month demand charges to homeowners installing solar has resulted in a 95% drop in residential solar installations. Other Arizona utilities, such as APS and Tucson Electric Power (TEP), as well as UNS, with the same parent company as TEP, have expressed an interest in also adding high demand charges.

    In a nutshell, it seems that Arizona utilities make far more money running old, polluting coal plants that generate electricity for ~3 cents/kWh, than risking a loss of sales to solar energy. Although utility-scale solar in AZ has been as cheap as new natural gas for a number of years, utilities like APS, TEP/UNS, SRP and the dozen or so electric cooperatives in Arizona have not lived up to the state’s solar potential.

    As is illustrated by its June 2016 request for a $3.6 billion rate increase over only three years, APS is investing far more money in coal and natural gas than in solar. APS’ 2017 Integrated Resource Plan, which outlines its how it will meet electricity demands over the next 15 years, states that its current 26% natural gas will increase to 36% by 2031.

    It’s baffling. What’s not to like about solar PV, with a 25% to 35% capacity factor (using single-axis trackers), that uses practically no water, generates no waste (coal ash, acid rain, greenhouse gas emissions or nuclear waste), generates no toxic emissions (acid gases, arsenic, hexavalent chromium and many others) and can be scaled up or down? And although solar PV output doesn’t exactly match Arizona’s peak load, technologies like the Solana Generating Station, which uses molten salt storage to generate electricity for up to 6 hours after the sun sets, can compensate when solar PV generation drops off, as could batteries, or natural gas peaking plants.

    APS’ 2015 10-k shows that solar accounts for a paltry 1.5% of its owned generation, with 5.1% purchased clean energy (both solar and wind). Thus, APS’ total coal, oil and natural gas fired electricity is a stunning 66.6%, and after adding in nuclear, total fossil fueled generation for 2015 accounts for 93.4% of electricity generated.

    In fact, APS’ 2012 purchase of Southern California Edison’s share of the Four Corners coal plant - adding 179 MW to APS’ owned coal capacity - is clearly a huge step in the wrong direction. And the staggering cost of emissions control for these units - over $400 million - is throwing good money after bad.

    Adding insult to injury, APS runs coal plants on groundwater – as do other AZ utilities. In a state that’s increasingly facing climate-change-induced heat waves and drought, regulators refuse to recognize the obvious pollution and carbon emissions from coal plants and the fact that solar PV uses very little water.

    APS’ Solana Generating Station, near Gila Bend, is a 280 MW Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) power plant that includes storage, providing up to 6 hours of electricity after the sun sets by using molten salt to store heat, which then turns a steam turbine. Although this plant was ‘expensive’ at the time it was built at an estimated 14 cents/kWh (which includes a 30% federal Investment Tax Credit), along with a $1.45 billion federal loan guarantee, the plant provides electricity at peak use times when it could cost APS 30 to 40 cents/kWh.

    There is only one conclusion to be drawn from Arizona’s lack of solar, and that is regulatory capture. Arizona is one of only 7 states with regulators that have constitutional power – which means that only the 5-member Corporation Commission makes all water, electric and gas utility decisions – and one of 13 states with an elected Commission, which makes it subject to large campaign contributions.

    This is amply illustrated by APS’ likely large ‘investment’ of over $3 million in a single election cycle, and the ongoing drama of front groups like 60-Plus and others that spend utility money on critical elections and also on public relations during debates over solar’s role in the state.

    Arizona Public Service Company (APS)/Pinnacle West: Electricity Background: All Utilities

    Electric Power Sector Energy Expenditure Estimates, 2013, Arizona:

    Coal: $934 million

    Natural Gas: $1.034 billion

    Uranium: $302.7 million

    Net summer capacity: 28,039 MW

    Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (PVNGS), at 3,937 MW, is the largest nuclear power plant in the U.S., and the 2nd largest of any U.S. power plant.

    Twenty-five percent of AZ’s electricity is used for air conditioning, four times the national average of 6%.

    Electricity generation from Hoover Dam (2,080 MW) is down 25% since the level of Lake Mead is down to 37% full, the lowest level since it was first filled in the 1930s AZ’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, 15% clean energy by 2025, is one of the lowest in the U.S. AZ’s RPS is unique in that it includes a 30% set-aside for distributed generation. AZ’s Energy Efficiency Standard is one of the highest in the U.S. at 22% by 2020, and applies to all Arizona utilities (except for Salt River Project), with a slightly lower standard for coops

    Although Arizona’s Native American lands are some of the richest in the U.S. for solar, geothermal and wind, the Navajo Nation has the highest percentage of households without electricity among U.S. tribal lands.

    How Much Solar Is Installed In Arizona, The Sunniest State In The U.S.?...APS Electricity Generation - Current And Future Mix…How Much Clean Energy, Including Solar, Does APS Have?...

    Water Use By APS Power Plants…Aps June 2016 Rate Case For $3.6 Billion Increase…APS Buying Cut-Rate, ‘Excess’ Solar Generation From California…APS Operations And Maintenance Costs…The Arizona Corporation Commission…

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