PHOENIX – The Arizona Corporation Commission held its monthly Open Meeting on September 8, 2021 to discuss and vote on various utilities and securities items. Highlights from the meeting are below:
Advanced Water Pump Efficiency Program Approved for Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative
Commissioners unanimously approved a new water pump efficiency program for Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (Sulphur Springs) as part of its Demand Side Management/Energy Efficiency Plan (DSM/EE). SSVEC initially proposed the inclusion of this program in its May 31, 2017 DSM/EE application. In Commission Decision No. 77891 dated January 25, 2021, the Commission denied the inclusion of the Advanced Water Pump Efficiency Program (AWPEP). On June 2, 2021 Commissioner Jim O’Connor filed a letter encouraging Sulphur Springs to resubmit its AWPEP proposal and requested that staff evaluate its cost effectiveness. The Commission at its July Open Meeting directed staff to conduct a Ratepayer Impact Test (RIM Test) as part of the evaluation of the AWPEP.
This program will increase efficiency by evaluating and possibly replacing inefficient water pumps throughout the Sulphur Springs service territory. By offering free pump tests to irrigators and large power users, such as agricultural members, and municipal water and wastewater departments they can determine kilowatt hour (kWh) savings through various pump upgrade options.
The Sulphur Springs AWPEP includes four measures: pump overhaul, variable frequency drive installation, pump rightsizing, and system optimization. Pump overhaul refers to all activities that will restore efficiency of the pump to original equipment manufacturer specifications. Variable frequency drive installation will allow for replacement of single speed motors with variable frequency drives which will allow flow rates to be throttled up and down depending on need, a much more efficient process. Pump rightsizing allows for evaluation of a system to determine if the size of the pump is correct based upon the flow needs of the system, if it is found to be inefficient the pump can be sized up or down. Finally, system optimization begins with testing existing pumps and reviewing a customer’s overall water needs. With that information recommendations can be made such as pump upgrades, additional sensors, prioritized pump operation, control system improvements, and system redesign as necessary. The overarching goal of all these programs is to increase energy efficiency by reducing the amount of energy needed to pump water.
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-01575A-17-0164.
Commission Approves two Solar Qualifying Facility Contracts for Tucson Electric Power Company
The Commission unanimously approved two applications from Tucson Electric Power Company (TEP) seeking approval for an agreement between TEP and Babacomari Solar North, LLC and Babacomari Solar South, LLC. The agreements provide for the purchase of energy from two 80 megawatts (MW) facilities. These two facilities qualify under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) as Qualifying Facilities (QF) located within the TEP service territory.
Babacomari North and Babacomari South are independent solar facilities with a nameplate capacity of 80 MW each, located in Cochise County, Arizona. TEP has entered into an agreement to purchase the energy produced by each solar facility for a term of 18 years at a negotiated rate dependent on TEP’s long-term avoided cost rate.
As defined by PURPA, a QF is a small power production facility or cogeneration facility that has a right to sell to its host electric utility at the utility’s avoided cost rate. In this instance, the QF’s are small power production facilities which are defined as facilities that use biomass, waster, or renewable resources, including wind, solar, and water to produce electric power, and which, together with other facilities at the same site, have a generating capacity equal to or less than 80 MW.
All documents related to these agenda items can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket numbers E-01933A-21-0196 and E-01933A-21-0197.
Commission Approves CC&N Extension for Global Water Company to Serve Nikola Plant
The Commission unanimously approved an application from Global Water Picacho Cove Utilities Company, Inc (Global Picacho Utilities) and Global Water Picacho Cove Water Company, Inc (Global Picacho Water) requesting an extension of its water and wastewater CC&N’s. Both are Arizona public service corporations authorized to deliver water and wastewater service to customers in Pinal County, Arizona.
The applications from Global Picacho Utilities and Global Picacho Water were requesting approval to extend service to an industrial development, covering approximately 388 acres, located in Coolidge, AZ. Approval will allow Global to provide services to the industrial development which will allow Nikola to construct its necessary facilities in the region.
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 numbers SW-20494A-21-0058 and W-20495A-21-0059.
Commission Approves Amendment to APS Decision Allowing for Expanded Substation and Relocation of Transmission Line for Semiconductor Plant
The Commission unanimously approved an application from Arizona Public Service Company (APS) to amend previous Commission decisions to allow for the expansion of the existing Avery Substation, addition of a new 500/230kW substation, and relocate a segment of a transmission line 0.5 miles north of its current location.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is constructing an advanced semiconductor manufacturing plant in Phoenix on approximately 1,100-acre site near the northwest corner of the Loop 303 and 43rd Avenue in Phoenix. TSMC intends to have two fabrication units start preliminary operations in 2022 and ramp up to full operation by 2024. The process of manufacturing semiconductors is highly sensitive to electromagnetic interference from overhead transmission lines. Because of this, APS must relocate an approximate 3.5-mile segment of the Morgan-Pinnacle Peak Line approximately 0.5 mile north of its current location to prevent interference with the plant.
The TSMC plant requires an extensive amount of electricity for its operations, because of that demand APS needs to expand existing plans for its Avery Substation and add a new 500/230 kV substation to serve the plant. Additionally, APS requested the ability to expand Avery Substation from 10 to 64 acres to ensure adequate service to the plant.
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 numbers L-00000D-02-0120 and L-00000D-06-0635-00131.
Commission Finds Phoenix Man Defrauded Investors with a Sports Betting Fund
The Corporation Commission ordered respondents John R. Uranga of Phoenix and his three affiliated companies to pay $459,699 in restitution and a $100,000 administrative penalty for committing securities fraud in connection with a sports betting fund.
The Corporation Commission found that Uranga and the three entities he controlled—NVSG702, LLC, NVSG702 LLC, Silverstate702, LLC—promoted the investment in a sports betting fund through social media posts, and in exchange for their investment, investors received membership interests in the respondent entities that entitled them to receive dividends. The Commission found Uranga claimed to have made significant profits and to have bought many assets from gambling revenues.
However, the Commission found a significant amount of income of Uranga’s entities was from investor funds and not profits from the sports betting fund. The Commission found Uranga told investors the sports betting fund complied with Nevada gaming law when the fund failed to meet the requirements of that law. The Commission also found the respondents failed to pay investors any principal or interest and to disclose to later investors that previous investors had not been paid.
In settling this matter, the respondents admit to the Commission’s findings and agreed to the entry of the consent order.
All documents relating to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission's online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number S-21096A-20-0047.
Commission Sanctions Paint Company Owner for Offering Unlawful Investment
The Corporation Commission ordered respondents Don Harris and his affiliated company, Don's Painter Stuff, LLC, to pay a $5,000 administrative penalty for offering an unregistered investment opportunity to the public.
The Corporation Commission found Harris and his company offered the unregistered investment opportunity on Craigslist, representing to potential investors that they were raising money to produce their product, “The Tape Thing,” for sale in national hardware and auto parts franchises. The Commission also found Harris posted an article entitled “Investment Partner Needed” on an online social networking website. However, the Commission found Harris and his company were not registered to offer or sell securities in Arizona.
Additionally, the Commission found Harris and his company misrepresented to potential investors the projected profits of The Tape Thing product, the status of pending patents for the product, and the level of risk regarding the investment.
All documents relating to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission's online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number S-21127A-20-0313.