by Emma Foehringer Merchant
December 16, 2019

It’s been a bit of a rough year for PURPA, the 1978 federal law designed to foster renewables development.

South Carolina reduced PURPA rates, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposed significant changes to implementing the law — which could curtail development — and a settlement in Michigan cleared the way for hundreds of megawatts of PURPA projects, but at lower rates than they received in the past.

That makes a decision last week out of the Arizona Corporation Commission, the body that regulates state utilities, even more significant.

“This ruling by Arizona’s utility commission seems to be an almost lone example of PURPA going in a direction that is more favorable for solar developers,” said Colin Smith, a senior solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.