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Arizona Corp. Commission Starts "Omnibus" Informal Rulemaking Process, Incorporates Review Of Retail Electric Choice

August 15, 2018

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Copyright 2010-17
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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The Arizona Corporation Commission yesterday directed that Staff commence an informal "omnibus" rulemaking process to address a variety of electric industry issues impacted by grid modernization, including suggested reviews of the retail electric competition rules

The holistic approach was prompted by the ACC's current consideration of grid modernization issues and the broad impact grid modernization would have on various rules

At a meeting yesterday, the ACC specifically directed Staff to come back with a proposed process on how to proceed, with Staff expected to take 30-45 days to develop a proposal and whether the process would indeed be addressed in a comprehensive rule, or separate rulemakings.

A representative from the hearing division said that she "would expect" that the scope of topics under consideration would be everything brought up so far, which would include various Commissioners' proposals to include a review of the retail electric choice rules (see below)

Describing the motion before the ACC to start the process, Chairman Tom Forese said the process would include thoughts on, "incorporating what everyone else has done."

Commissioners discussed the most efficient process to address inter-related topics and to hold various workshops.

Musing about potential workshops, Commissioner Boyd Dunn stated, "On dereg, [there] may have to be a workshop, or something of that nature."

Retail competition had been raised as an issue to be addressed in the review of grid modernization by three Commissioners in letters filed in the grid modernization docket (E-00000Q-16-0289). Staff said that it is expected that the new process would have a new docket number.

Commissioner Robert Burns on July 24 wrote in a letter filed in Docket E-00000Q-16-0289 that, "I am writing today in response to Commissioner Boyd Dunn's letter of July 20, 2018. I agree with Commissioner Dunn that we should have Staff open a Rulemaking docket to look at all the rules listed in his letter along with the Biennial Transmission Assessment (required by statute) process. However, in order to fully develop rules and processes that will lead to a fully modernized grid and electrical system of the future, in this Rulemaking docket Staff must also explore, develop and propose possible revisions to the Commission's Retail Electric Competition Rules. I believe that including these rules in any new Rulemaking docket is especially critical at this time of the many discussions dealing with 'electrification of the grid.'"

Commissioner Justin Olson wrote in support of Burns' letter, "I am writing today in response to letters written by Commissioner Dunn, docketed on July 20, 2018, and Commissioner Burns docketed on July 24, 2018. I concur with Commissioner Dunn's request that Staff open a rulemaking docket to review the rules proposed in this docket. I also agree with Commissioner Burns that it is worth considering in this docket revisions to the Commission's Retail Electric Competition Rules as part of evaluating the modernization of the grid and the electrification system of the future."

Commissioner Boyd Dunn wrote, "I am writing in response to Commissioner Olson's August 8, 2018 letter. I agree with Commissioner Olson that we should look at the Commission's Retail Electric Competition Rules as part of the new rulemaking docket. I have not studied this issue since joining the Commission and I would like to explore the issue further. I suggest we direct Staff to look at the Retail Electric Rules and report to the Commission as part of this process."

Other topics included in the omnibus informal rulemaking include

• Electric/gas energy efficiency

• Net Metering

• Resource Competition

• EVs

• Blockchain

• Technology Docket

• Resource Planning

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