Arizona Corporation Commission Ruled Against In Renewable Energy Decision

July 17, 2013

A new court ruling says the Arizona Corporation Commission was wrong when it accepted electricity generated through the incineration of trash as renewable energy. The ruling said the utility regulating panel erred and abused its discretion with the 2012 decision. The commission had given renewable energy credits to the Mohave Electric Cooperative for the project planned near Surprise.

The Sierra Club had argued before Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Crane McClennan that burning trash to generate power was not a use intended under Arizona‚Äôs renewable energy standard.  It said the incinerator required fossil fuels to generate energy and would produce toxic byproducts like mercury and dioxin.

Among other things, the commission argued its decision was entitled to deference from the court. The judge ruled the panel should not have approved burning trash to generate electricity as renewable energy.