By David Wichner | Arizona Daily Star
In a move that could make the installation of grid-connected renewable-energy and battery systems easier and cheaper, the Arizona Corporation Commission has preliminarily approved a long-awaited set of rules governing how such off-grid power sources connect to state-regulated utilities.
Tucson Electric Power Co. and other Arizona power companies have been connecting customer-owned rooftop solar and wind systems for years, under procedures spelled out in renewable-energy compliance plans.
But the new rules will set statewide standards for interconnection of such distributed generating systems and include provisions for emerging home battery storage systems.
After more than a decade in the making, the draft rules for distributed generation facilities are expected to be formalized and considered for final approval within a few months.
The draft Arizona rules provide a streamlined “super fast track” process for approval of systems with a maximum rated generating capacity of 20 kilowatts or less, a fast-track process for systems of less than 2 megawatts and a longer “study track” process including in-depth facility studies for projects greater than 2MW.