News Release

ACC Summer Readiness and Wildfire Mitigation Workshop Highlights

Phoenix, Ariz. —   The Arizona Corporation Commission’s annual Summer Preparedness Workshop is an important meeting, where state utility providers present their plans to the Commission regarding their capacity to meet peak demand during the hot summer months.  The Commission also ensures that regulated utilities remain proactive in maintaining the power grid throughout the year and that the infrastructure remains safe and reliable. Here are some of the highlights from the April 23, 2024, Workshop:

Representatives from Arizona Public Service Company (APS), Tucson Electric Power Company (TEP) & UNS Electric (UNSE), Salt River Project (SRP), and Arizona Electric Power Cooperatives (AEPCO) delivered presentations outlining past, present, and future electricity peak load forecasts.  This year, our utilities report they are forecasting record-high electricity demand, and informed the Commission that they are preparing to produce a combined total of nearly 23,000 gigawatts of electricity.  Arizona utilities produce power from diverse sources, including natural gas, coal, nuclear, steam, solar, battery, wind, hydroelectric, and storage facilities, as well as investing in short-term purchases.

Local natural gas utilities, Southwest Gas and UNS Gas, along with interstate gas pipeline companies Kinder Morgan and Transwestern Pipeline Company, also delivered presentations to the Commission. Southwest Gas announced it is forecasting a decrease in natural gas futures prices. UNS Gas said it has made substantial improvements and installed nearly 89,000 feet of pipeline services to meet a growing demand.

Kinder Morgan told the Commission it is undergoing expansion as the interstate pipeline is seeing tremendous demand in future for gas transportation and deliveries to the Desert southwest.  It’s currently seeking FERC authorization for the Greenfield Pipeline and Storage Projects.  Transwestern Pipeline Company said it saw a 10% increase in utilization and capacity of natural gas flowing west on its mainline.  Transwestern operates about 2,600 miles of large-diameter pipeline which serves SRP, APS, and Southwest Gas.

Each of the electric utility companies shared their wildfire mitigation strategies, all of which are multi-faceted approaches focusing on prevention, protection, and preparation.  The preemptive measures being taken include vegetation management, tree trimming, enhanced inspections of lines advanced technology for improved monitoring of smoke and fire, and grid hardening efforts.

This year, Arizona utilities are in the process of rolling out a new tool to help mitigate wildfires called Public Safety Power Shutoff or PSPS. APS has already implemented its program, and SRP and UniSource Energy Services/TEP are considering a PSPS program in the future.  During extremely high-fire risk conditions, a utility may shut off power to a specific area to de-energize lines and limit the risk of the electric system from in contributing to a wildfire.  It is a tool that will be used rarely, and only when necessary.  APS says 13 circuits that serve specific communities in Coconino, Yavapai, and Gila counties are part of its PSPS program.

Coconino County Emergency Manager, Wes Dison, also attended the workshop, and commended the utility for its strategic planning.   “I don’t think that’s ideal, nobody wants to shut power off, but I think the decision to do so is a smart one, I think it’s based on science, and as the emergency manager for Coconino County, I widely support it,” said Dison.

Arizona Corporation Commission

1200 W. Washington Street

Phoenix, AZ 85007


Corporations Division

1300 W. Washington Street

Phoenix, AZ 85007


Tucson Office (Walk-ins only)

400 W. Congress Street

Tucson, AZ 85701