Rose Law Group Senior Partner Court Rich and the ‘rooftop brawl over solar energy’s soul’

roof-fightEdited from the Yellow Sheet Report

The Corporation Commission’s hearing yesterday into APS’s proposal to install solar rooftop panels brought about passionate defenses of the company’s pitch and the existing rooftop solar industry, but also attacks and snide remarks.

“This is a brawl,” one industry insider told our reporter yesterday.

Marc Romito, APS manager of renewable energy, began by saying his company’s proposal is a historic opportunity to take solar in a new direction, as it seeks to expand access to customers currently unserved by the private market.

“It’s another choice for customers,” he said.

Mark Holohan, president of the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association, reiterated solar companies’ position APS’s proposal is unnecessary.

“We see it as unfair competition,” he said. But the sparks started flying during a freewheeling back-and-forth between SolarCity attorney Court Rich and Romito, with commissioners and RUCO’s Lon Huber interjecting with questions, suggestions and opinions.

SolarCity is arguing one, APS does not need 20 megawatts of solar energy to meet its renewable standards; two, its solar pitch is costly while alternatives exist; and, three, any benefits gleamed from the project can already be satisfied by the private market.

“There is not a benefit that they are proposing that cannot be achieved with less cost through the [private sector],” Rich said. But APS’s representatives insist the program offers real benefits to customers and could provide valuable information about how to better manage and integrate solar power into the existing energy infrastructure.

For the most part, the question boils down to whether APS actually needs the additional capacity in order to meet its renewable energy requirements, given the rate at which existing solar firms are installing rooftop panels.

“System reliability is the heart and soul of what we are. We are 24/7, 365, a product that is produced and consumed in the same instant,” Romito said.

But Rich questioned APS’s assumptions, surmising other studies on advanced inverters have been or are being conducted elsewhere in the country, and there’s no need to replicate them here and “waste taxpayer money doing the same thing.”

Share this!

Additional Articles

News Categories

Get Our Twice Weekly Newsletter!

* indicates required

Rose Law Group pc values “outrageous client service.” We pride ourselves on hyper-responsiveness to our clients’ needs and an extraordinary record of success in achieving our clients’ goals. We know we get results and our list of outstanding clients speaks to the quality of our work.

Court Rich, Rose Law group co-founder, Director of Renewable Energy & Utility Infrastructure, celebrates 20 years of sustainability in the legal field

By InBusiness Phoenix Court Rich, Co-Founder of Rose Law Group pc, is celebrating twenty years since joining the firm. Under Court’s guidance, Rose Law Group has become a leading firm for renewable energy and regulatory law in the Southwest. When Court joined in 2004, the firm had just two attorneys. Today, it boasts a

Read More »
November 2014