AriSEIA filed surrebuttal testimony today in the APS rate case at the Arizona Corporation Commission. The testimony focuses in large part on the APS response to our Bring Your Own Device/Virtual Power Plant program, revisions to rates with storage, and the solar cost of service study.
AriSEIA filed exceptions and four proposed amendments today to modify components of the Arizona Corporation Commission's (ACC) Recommended Opinion and Order in the Tucson Electric Power (TEP) rate case. We filed amendments seeking to implement a Bring Your Own Device/Virtual Power Plant (VPP) program, implement design changes to several rate tariffs, refund an over-collection on solar customers, and create an affirmative duty on the utilities to notify the ACC to changes in approved fees. A vote is expected on August 8th.
Before the Arizona Corporation Commission
Jim O'Connor – CHAIR
Lea Márquez Peterson
IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF ARIZONA PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY FOR A HEARING TO DETERMINE THE FAIR VALUE OF THE UTILITY PROPERTY OF THE COMPANY FOR RATEMAKING PURPOSES, TO FIX A JUST AND REASONABLE RATE OF RETURN THEREON, AND TO APPROVE RATE SCHEDULES DESIGNED TO DEVELOP SUCH RETURN
DOCKET NO. E-01345A-22-0144
SIERRA CLUB, ARIZONA SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION (ARISEIA), AND SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION (SEIA) JOINDER IN OPPOSITION TO ARIZONA FREE ENTERPRISE CLUB’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO INTERVENE AND OPPOSITION TO THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER
Sierra Club, AriSEIA, and SEIA join in Arizona Public Service’s (APS) opposition to the Motion for Leave to Intervene filed by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC), which was filed on June 23, 2023. We also oppose AFEC’s Motion to Reconsider filed July 7, 2023. The Notice of Intent to File a Rate Case was filed on June 1, 2022. APS’ application was filed on October 28, 2022. A Procedural Order setting the intervention deadline as February 16, 2023, was filed on December 2, 2022. On December 8, 2022, the intervention deadline was moved to March 3, 2023. Direct testimony on the revenue requirement was due on June 5, 2023 and direct testimony on rate design was due on June 15, 2023. By that time, approximately 34 entities had been granted intervention in this matter, public comment sessions have been held, and significant media attention has been applied to this proceeding. Additionally, the hearing is already scheduled to run for 5 weeks.
AFEC filed for intervention 16 weeks after the intervention deadline, 3 weeks after the revenue requirement testimony filing deadline, and more than a week after the rate design testimony filing deadline. To grant intervention now would prejudice other parties because we will not have adequate time to review and respond to the interests AFEC purports to have in this proceeding without delaying the hearing. Further, discovery is well underway. Allowing intervention at this point creates the potential for voluminous and burdensome discovery requests to any other party in the proceeding only 5 weeks before the discovery deadline. Finally, and most concerning, there is a substantial risk that AFEC’s interests could increase the duration of the hearing, thereby increasing costs to ratepayers, the Commission, and all of the other parties. This is especially concerning to nonprofit organizations with finite resources as additional hearing days can dramatically increase the cost to intervene.
AFEC says they “do not intend to provide testimony or cross examine witnesses, our intention with intervention is for the ability to present evidence to support our perspective and ensure the interests of ratepayers are adequately represented.” This fundamentally misunderstands the nature of rate cases. A party cannot introduce “evidence” absent a witness, because due process requires the person sponsoring an exhibit to be cross-examined. If AFEC solely wants to present public comment, they do not need to be an intervenor in the case. Further, there are multiple parties already in the case who represent the interests of ratepayers, such as RUCO and Wildfire. AFEC has not provided any information as to how they are better suited to represent ratepayers than the organizations whose primary function is to do so or how they can possibly “present evidence” without delaying or prolonging the proceeding.
AFEC had the same opportunity as all of the other parties to timely intervene in this proceeding. For these reasons, we ask that AFEC’s Motion to Reconsider be denied.
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED this 7th day of July 2023.
By /s/ Patrick Woolsey
Louisa Eberle - AZ Bar No. 035973
Patrick Woolsey (Pro Hac Vice)
Nihal Shrinath (Pro Hac Vice)
Attorneys for Sierra Club
By /s/ Autumn Johnson
Autumn Johnson (035811)
Attorney for AriSEIA and SEIA
 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Motion to Reconsider, Docket No. E-01345A-22-0144, Filed July 7, 2023, P.3, L. 15-18.
AriSEIA filed direct testimony on rate design today in the APS rate case. The testimony covered a BYOD/VPP program proposal, a recommendation to disallow cost recovery for APS' uncompetitive microgrid program, rate design changes to several commercial storage rates, a change to how demand charges work for commercial customers installing EV chargers, a robust critique of APS' solar cost of service study, and community solar.
AriSEIA filed a reply brief today in the Tucson Electric Power (TEP) rate case focusing on mechanisms to improve the use of storage for residential and commercial customers to benefit the grid widely. TEP has ignored and attempted to delay any such programs throughout the proceeding and for several years prior to the case.
AriSEIA filed its opening brief in the TEP rate case on May 26th highlighting our recommendations on the revenue requirement (including return on equity (ROE) and common equity ratio), as well as rate design (including community solar, a bring your own device/virtual power plant proposal, tariff re-designs for R-TECH and LGST-SP, and ending the distributed generation (DG) meter fee).
AriSEIA filed a response to TEP's rebuttal testimony in the TEP rate case today. The testimony covered three main topics: the company's return on equity (ROE) proposal, community solar, and rate design for distributed solar and storage. TEP has attempted to have several of our issues removed from this rate case, but we have highlighted this is simply a delay tactic and should be denied. Read the full testimony above.
AriSEIA filed the direct testimony of our two experts today in the Tucson Electric Power rate case. We are focusing on community solar and battery storage programs for residential and commercial customers. The testimony and exhibits exceed 400 pages. You can view the entire filing at the button above. TEP is due to file their response on February 15th.
AriSEIA filed expert witness testimony in the currently pending TEP rate case focusing on why the Commission should deny TEP's request to increase their return on equity (ROE). Additionally, several other parties filed testimony about items other than rate design on January 11th. You can view the docket here.
AriSEIA is partnering with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) to intervene in the Tucson Electric Power (TEP) 2022 General Rate Case. TEP filed the rate case in June 2022, testimony is due in January 2023, and the hearing is expected to start in late March 2023.
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