An Arizona Corporation Commissioner is criticizing plans by one of the state’s biggest utilities to dramatically expand its natural gas capacity. In letters to Arizona Public Service, Commissioner Andy Tobin chided the utility for its plans to increase gas generation rather than striving for “a more balanced and forward-looking perspective” that includes more renewable energy, storage and efficiency. APS is planning to expand its current 363 megawatts of gas generation to 2,611 MW by 2022 and 5,229 MW by 2032 to meet rising power demand. In comparison, APS’s resource plan calls for only 62 MW of renewable energy and storage investments by 2022, and 288 MW by 2032. Tobin said APS’s plans could expose customers to “the risk of higher energy prices that have been historically unstable.” In his letters, he said addressing demand with efficiency and renewables would be less costly. He supports a proposal by the state’s consumer counsel that would require a proportion of renewable resources be supplied during peak demand hours to create an incentive for adding energy storage.

– via Utility Dive / Gavin Bade


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