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Duke Energy Carolinas Files IRP

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Industry News

Arizona Corporation Commission Rejects Utilities' Integrated Resource Plans

LCG, March 22, 2018--The Arizona Corporation Commission last week rejected the Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) filed by Tucson Electric Power Co. (TEP), sister utility UniSource Energy Services (UNS) and Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) and has ordered them to develop plans that reduce their dependence upon natural gas and new, gas-fired power plants. The Commission prefers greater reliance on renewable energy and storage.

The Commissioners voted 3-2 to reject the resource plans. However, the Commission unanimously approved the final order to reject the plans. The Commission did not accept a Commission Staff recommendation to approve that the resource plans. The Commission placed a moratorium through 2018 on the purchase of any natural-gas power plant with a generating capacity greater than or equal to 150 MW. Furthermore, the Commission approved a new process to revamp the rules.

The three electric utilities are required to file IRPs every two years. The IRPs include 15-year forecasts of energy demand and supply resources to meet that load, including a three-year action plan.

The Commission adopted a new proposal that requires the utilities to prepare IRPs that include at least one supply portfolio where the addition of fossil fuel resources does not exceed 20 percent of all resource additions. Furthermore, a proposal was supported to add scenarios including a least one gigawatt of energy-storage capacity, and at least 50 percent "clean energy resources," including biomass energy and energy efficiency measures.

An APS spokesperson stated, "Our plan keeps Arizona on course for a cleaner energy future, so we respectfully disagree with the Commission's decision not to acknowledge any IRPs (integrated resource plans) even after Commission Staff determined they were complete and responsive to the filing requirements. We all agree on the goal of cleaner energy, and this decision doesn't change that - or how we will meet our customers' energy needs in the near-term."
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