Arizona Energy Consortium Forms Own Organization

AECAfter several years as a committee of the Arizona Technology Council, the Arizona Energy Consortium (AEC) has formed its own 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization comprised of over 200 members.

As a committee, the AEC was co-chaired by Michelle De Blasi, an environmental and energy law partner with the law firm of Gammage & Burnham, and Chris Davey, president of EnviroMission, and the pair will continue to act as resources for the Council on energy policy issues.

Arizona’s solar and energy efficiency industries have been buffeted by policy changes the past couple of years.

In 2013, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) instituted a charge on future customers who install rooftop solar panels and directed Arizona Public Service (APS) to provide quarterly reports on the pace of rooftop solar adoption to assist the Commission in considering further increases.

In 2014, the Arizona Corporation Commission looked at the possibility of letting state utilities off the hook for providing energy efficiency programs.

In early 2015, the Arizona Republic reported that an ACC staffer, acting as a whistleblower, alleged the former head of the ACC may have held off-limits meetings with the CEO of Arizona Public Service.

“In an ever-changing energy market, the AEC will continue with its collaboration with key stakeholders to develop the Arizona Energy Roadmap and Solar Strategic Plan,” said Davey, who is developing a utility scale solar energy project in Arizona.

Takeaway: Although Arizona Public Service has been in the middle of some of the controversy, the utility is a member of both the Arizona Technology Council and the new Arizona Energy Consortium. De Blasi said, “We will continue with our efforts to help Arizona’s energy industry reach its full potential, such as our development of the Arizona Energy Roadmap.  We have members from many sectors of the energy industry, including solar companies and utilities, such as APS. “

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