Supreme Court: Statute Trumps ACC Rules.

Those of you who don't live in AZ will not be surprised by a headline that says "Statute Trumps ACC Rules."  After all, don't laws always trump rules?  Not in Arizona.  The Arizona Corporation Commission is a Constitutional body and has long argued that it has sole authority over Public Service Corporations, so its rule making authority with respect to the companies that it regulates trumps Statute.  

The Supreme Court disagrees.

Here's the key paragraph.

¶30 However, when there is a conflict between a Commission
regulation and a statute, the legislature’s police authority is “paramount,”
meaning it has the authority to override the regulations of the Commission.
Pacific Greyhound, 54 Ariz. at 176–77 (stating that apart from the
Commission’s ratemaking authority, “under the direct language of the
constitution and the police power inherent in the legislative authority, the
paramount power to make all rules and regulations governing PSCs not
specifically and expressly given to the[C]ommission by some provision of
the constitution, rests in the legislature”); see Ariz. Const. art. 14, § 2 (stating
that all corporations doing business in Arizona may “be regulated, limited,
and restrained by law”); see also State v. Harold, 74 Ariz. 210, 215–16 (1952)
(holding that the legislature has a duty to exercise its police power to enact
laws “reasonably necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety,
morals, or general welfare of the public”).



ACC Proposed Energy Rules

The ACC is just starting the process of amending its Energy Rules.  They are on the front end of what promises to be a long process.  Here is a link to the proposed rule.  

Frankly, with three of the five ACC seats up for election this fall, there's no reason for the ACC to formally start the process.  New members are going to want to have input.  So if the ACC decides to file the rules before fall, they are likely to refile and start the process over in the spring

Nevertheless, many of the details are likely to stay the same, it's good to be familiar with basic structure.  Our biggest concern is maintaining competitive procurement.  I'm happy to say that the competitive procurement section has not changed in any of the drafts.  

Here's the section:

Competitive Procurement

Leadership is Still Working

I met with Congressman David Schweikert and Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane together with a few community leaders in a very large conference room yesterday.  Plenty of distance.  It's easy to forget that elected officials of both parties are working full time to provide all the help they can.  

Here David and Greg Hoply from Colliers International leave the meeting.


Quiet at the ACC

The ACC held a virtual Open Meeting on Tuesday and is working with a light agenda.  There was only on electric item.  Here's the summary from the meeting highlights. 

April Open Meeting Highlights 


Commissioners Approve Tucson Electric Power Company Transmission Line to Enhance Davis Monthan Air Force Base Energy Resiliency

Commissioners approved an application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility authorizing the Irvington to East Loop 138 kilovolt (kV) Transmission Line Project, which includes the construction of new 138 kV transmission lines originating at the Irvington Substation (Section 03, Township 15 South, Range 14 East), with an interconnection at the Port Substation (Section 18, Township 15 South, Range 15 East) and terminating at the East Loop Substation (Section 08, Township 14 South, Range 15 East), each located within Pima County, Arizona.

The project’s structure will be in Tucson and Pima County and entails the construction of 12.78 miles of new 138 kV transmission line that will be constructed on a mixture of weathering tubular steel tangent and dead-end monopoles. The project will enhance TEP's ability to respond to future load growth, provide contingency support to existing distribution substations, assist Davis-Monthan Air Force Base ("DMAFB") in fulfilling the Department of Defense ("DOD") directive for enhancing energy resiliency, and over time allow replacement of part of the existing project description and alignment aging 46 kV system serving the area. The existing electrical infrastructure does not provide enough capacity to serve future load growth and needs to be enhanced to provide DMAFB the resiliency it needs in order to fulfill the DOD directive.

All documents relating to this case can be found in the Corporation Commission's online docket at and entering docket number L-00000C-20-0007-00186.

QF Update

In an unanimous vote last December the ACC required APS and UNS to offer 18-year terms for QF contracts.  APS has filed an update in which the company asserts that it is in compliance with the decision.  However, the QF contractor that brought the original case disagrees.  

Commissioner Peterson has written a letter that lays out the issues.  The ACC is going to discuss the letter at today's Open Meeting.