Lea Márquez Peterson
Chairwoman

January 2021 Open Meeting Highlights

Commission Approves Hashknife Energy Center, LLC Construction Project to Enable 400MW Solar Development in Navajo County

The Arizona Corporation Commission at its January 12, 2021 Open Meeting unanimously approved the application of Hashknife Energy Center, LLC granting its request for Certificates of Environmental Compatibility.

“For too long our rural communities have been overlooked in the grand design of our statewide clean energy plan,” said Chairwoman Lea Marquez Peterson. “I am proud of the unanimous support of the Commission for approving the Hashknife Solar Project in Navajo County. This state-of-the-art solar power plant is a step in the right direction for encouraging economic development in rural Arizona. It not only demonstrates the Commission’s care for Arizona residents residing in rural communities, it also demonstrates our commitment to having our entire state remain at the forefront of the push to clean energy.”

On October 8, 2020, Hashknife Energy Center, LLC (Hashknife) filed an application with the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee to secure Certificates of Environmental Compatibility. The Line Siting Committee, upon conclusion of a hearing and public comment period, voted 9-0 to approve Hashknife’s application for construction of its Gen-Tie Project in Navajo County, Arizona.

The approval will allow for the construction of a new 500 Kilovolt (kV) transmission line and one new substation to interconnect to the applicant’s planned Hashknife Solar Project. The Hashknife Solar Project is an up to 400 MW solar photovoltaic power plant that may be paired with a battery energy storage system. This new solar power plant in Navajo County will interconnect into the existing regional transmission system at the 500kV Cholla Substation located at the Cholla Power Plant and will also include a reconstruction of a portion of a 230 kV transmission line at the Cholla Substation. Two Certificates of Environmental Compatibility are being approved for this project to allow for future ownership transfer of a portion of the project. Hashknife will have ten years from the order being signed to complete the project, such that it is in-service within a ten-year timeframe. Should Hashknife require an extension of time it must request such an extension within 180 days prior to the expiration of the Certificate of Environmental Compatibility.

“The Navajo County Board of Supervisors appreciates the approval and support of the Arizona Corporation Commission for the construction of the Hashknife Solar Project,” said Supervisor Jason Whiting. “Navajo County has been a leader in supporting and promoting sustainable forest management and energy development, and the Board of Supervisors feels that the Hashknife Solar Project is consistent with the County’s vision moving forward.”

All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number L-21126A-20-0300-00187.

Commission Approves Special Contract Between Arizona Public Service Company and Nikola Corporation to Enable Hydrogen Fuel Production in Arizona

The Arizona Corporation Commission unanimously approved an Electric Service Agreement between Arizona Public Service Company and Nikola Corporation.

On December 11, 2020 Arizona Public Service Company (APS) filed an application with the Arizona Corporation Commission for approval of an Electric Service Agreement (ESA) rate schedule with Nikola Corporation (Nikola). Nikola intends to establish hydrogen production processing and fueling stations which will require a very high load capacity, above 92-percent. APS stated that customers with high load factors provide operational and other economic benefits to the distribution system. These high load factor customers help to reduce the overall cost for APS to serve all of its customers, flattening the overall load profile and allowing APS to operate its generation fleet in a more efficient manner while spreading fixed costs over a greater volume of energy, reducing the per kilowatt hour costs to APS customers.

The Corporation Commission in approving this ESA rate schedule between APS and Nikola is aiding in an important means of economic development for Arizona. Nikola anticipates deploying hundreds of millions of dollars in capital to construct its hydrogen facilities throughout the state, additionally it intends to employ a diverse workforce at its facilities. Furthermore, the deployment of hydrogen facilities will have a positive impact on the state’s environment by reducing pollution, emissions, and small fine particulate matter by aiding in the conversion of heavy-duty trucks from diesel fuel to hydrogen.

All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number E-01345A-20-0016.

Investment Professional Admits to Defrauding Investors with Multimillion Investment Scheme that Falsely Claimed to Involve Religious and Humanitarian Projects

The Corporation Commission ordered Bradley Tennison of Gilbert to pay a $75,000 administrative penalty for defrauding investors. The Commission also revoked Tennison’s securities salesman registration and investment adviser representative license.

The Corporation Commission found Tennison falsely represented that investments in The Joseph Project would fund an after-hours bank trading program which would generate profits to benefit religious and humanitarian projects. The Commission fund Tennison falsely represented to investors that the investment was totally safe and would generate a return.  The Commission fund Tennison falsely claimed to have invested a million dollars of his own money.  Ultimately, most of the investor funds were misappropriated. To date, none of the investors have received their promised returns. In June 2019, the state of Arizona indicted Tennison on sixteen felony counts relating to this unlawful conduct.

In settling this matter, Tennison admits to the Commission’s findings and agrees to the entry of the consent order.

 All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number S-21078A-19-0143.

Commission Sanctions Former Phoenix Investment Promoter for Committing Securities Fraud a Second Time

The Corporation Commission ordered former Phoenix resident David Paul French and his affiliated companies to pay $851,030 in restitution and a $50,000 administrative penalty for defrauding investors for a second time.

The Commission found that French, Sun State Property Preservation, LLC and Wattenberg, LLC. fraudulently offered and sold company stocks, units or shares to at least 29 investors while not registered as a securities salesman or dealer. The Commission found French and his affiliated companies made multiple misrepresentations and material omissions to investors.

This is the second time the Corporation Commission’s Securities Division has taken legal action against French and his affiliated companies. In August 2002, the Corporation Commission issued Decision No. 65162 against French and others for their fraudulent offerings and sales of securities involving an automobile-sale-lease-back business. In 2003, based upon the activities outlined in the 2002 Decision, French pled guilty to fraud schemes and theft. French was sentenced to three and a one-half years in prison and seven years’ probation. The Corporation Commission found that French and his affiliated companies failed to disclose to investors his prior criminal fraud and theft conviction and administrative actions against him.

In settling this matter, French and his affiliated companies admit to the Commission’s findings and agree to the entry of the consent order.

All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number S-21105A-20-0114.

Commission Penalizes Flagstaff Man for Fraudulent Securities Sales

The Corporation Commission ordered Alfred Baca of Flagstaff and Chrysology Capital Group, LLC to pay a $10,000 administrative penalty for fraudulently selling securities in Arizona while not registered in as a securities salesman or dealer.

The Corporation Commission found that Baca and Chrysology Capital Group told investors their money would be used for the appraisal of diamonds, but some of the money was misappropriated to pay for Baca’s personal expenses. The Corporation Commission found that Baca and Chrysology Capital Group falsely represented that the execution of the agreements with investors did not violate the law.  The investors have since been repaid.

In settling this matter, Baca and Chrysology Capital Group admit to the Commission’s findings and agree to the entry of the consent order.

All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number  S-21124A-20-0292.

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