Turning Arizona Green
Sandra Kennedy, a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission, said the agency is getting Arizona off fossil fuels. She spoke at the December 22, 2021, meeting of Democrats of Greater Tucson.
Kennedy said she spoke to Tucson City Council members, asking, “Can you encourage new developers to put in solar panels and battery back up? If you are doing new development, can you encourage the developers to put in battery backup or some renewable energy so that people can benefit from it?”
“I worked with TEP to put solar on poles, light poles, electrical poles so that those who lived in apartment complexes and condominiums could have the benefit of renewable energy. Unfortunately, once I left the commission back in 2013, TEP took down all of those panels. I’ve raised the question of how we can encourage owners of apartment complexes and owners of condos to participate in renewable energy? So we’re looking strongly at community solar. I think that it is important for us to talk about it with our local entities.
“How can we get individuals involved in participating from day one of the development? Let’s say, my daughter, who is 24 years old, my baby girl, says, “If I could find a place where there was renewable energy, I think it would save me money.”
“We need to encourage that with landlords and encourage them that this is the way to go. And it helps not only helps the environment, but it helps those who are utilizing the electricity from those properties.
Kennedy said that she and Lauren Kuby are running for Arizona Corporation Commissioner.
“We want to be the consumer advocates. We want to be the voice of Arizona consumers. And we want to make sure that we are talking about conservation. We’re talking about not building more fossil plants, but looking at technology as it changes every day when it comes to environmental issues and renewable energy,” she said.
“When we talk about green hydrogen, I know that we’ve got a couple of utilities that are talking about it. I think it’s an alternative that has not gotten as much attention as other alternatives. It is a technology that I am learning about and have been looking at it for the last ten years. Now they’re looking at it to see if it is actually feasible for Arizona.
“I’d like to see one of the utilities dive into it, maybe set up a pilot project to see how we can make it work with residential customers, industrial customers, or commercial customers. But we need to figure out how we put a pilot together to actually see how it works and fits into Arizona’s renewable portfolio.
In February 2021, Texas suffered a statewide power outage, which resulted from three severe winter storms sweeping across the US. Asked if it could happen in Arizona, Kennedy said, “We had our winter preparedness a couple of weeks ago, and we were told that Arizona is prepared for this winter. One of the questions that I did raise was how often are the companies going out, and are they inspecting their lines?”
“As for Southwest Gas, maybe they aren’t inspecting as often as they should. But they are making inspections, as they say, on a timely basis. So I think that Arizona will probably not have an occurrence army event like that of Texas. Texas is just a different kind of animal of their own.
“In case we have a huge event of the magnitude of Texas, we’ve got to have a plan to make sure that, foremost, our seniors can be taken care of first. They’ve got to come up with a plan to make sure that women and children who are low-income are addressed and that they know they’re going to know what to do.
Video Table of Contents
00:00:14 – Meet Sandra, Arizona Corporation Commissioner running for re-election!
00:10:01 – Q&A – Are any changes needed to building codes, specifically relating to gas, heating, and cooking appliances, in order to transition away from fossil fuels?
00:11:18 – Q&A – What is your position, and what is the Commission’s position on TEP’s proposed overhead power lines east of downtown Tucson?
00:12:00 – Q&A – What can the Corporation Commission do to encourage installing solar panels in areas such as shopping center parking lots? 00:15:61 – Q&A – Do you have ideas to help encourage the use of solar energy aside from home installations?
00:17:50 – Q&A – What would it take to allow incentives for electric utilities to replace their fossil fuel technologies?
00:22:34 – Q&A – What’s the likelihood that AZ will adopt a credit for people who purchase electric and hybrid cars?
00:22:24 – Q&A – Can you discuss the rate of return reduction for APS by the Commission?
00:25:32 – Q&A – What are your thoughts about the Democrats’ statewide coordinated campaign for 2022, as well as the coordinated campaign between you and Democrat Lauren Kuby?
00:29:39 – Q&A – How feasible and affordable is green hydrogen energy?
00:31:41 – Q&A – What is the role of the Corporation Commission in as it relates to the water interests of residential and agricultural water usage?
00:34:31 – Q&A – Have you had any professional or personal interactions with Secretary of State Katie Hobbs? Can you comment on Talonya Adams’s position and statement that Hobbs is “uncomfortable with minorities. She seems wholly disconnected from people of color”?
00:38:44 – Q&A – Do you think it was Hobbs or the Republican-led State Senate who was truly at fault for the racially discriminatory firing of African-American policy adviser Talonya Adams?
00:39:31 – Q&A – Is there anything in the Build Back Better federal infrastructure bill that can help with our water issues in Arizona, specifically related to Lake Powell and energy?
00:41:42 – Q&A – Does the Corporation Commission have any involvement in SRP’s plan to spend $1B gas-powered energy?
00:43:41 – Q&A – How reliable is Arizona’s electric grid?
00:46:44 – Ways to support Sandra’s re-election campaign
“If an event such as that comes or happens here in Arizona, we’re praying and hoping that we don’t have any event like that.”