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Texas-based power company applies to compete with APS

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Posted at 6:03 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 21:03:44-04

PHOENIX — For the past 100 years Arizona Public Service (APS) and Salt River Project (SRP) have been the main service providers in the Valley. Now Texas-based power company, Green Mountain Energy is looking to enter the market according to its August 4 application filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC).

The company, which markets and sells 100% clean renewable energy plans, operates in seven states.

“Really what we want to do is to be able to provide Arizona with a choice in their electricity service that they are provided,” Green Mountain General Manager and Vice President, Mark Parsons told ABC15.

“It’s really about the type of energy that they're getting. Currently, it's a one size fits all.”

Since the late 1990s, the Commission has debated the feasibility and legality of opening the Arizona electricity market to competition but has not approved any applications.

Green Mountain argues that a 2020 Arizona Supreme Court Ruling makes clear that competition is allowed under the state’s Energy Competition Act and does not undermine the Commission’s constitutional authority to set utility rates, according to the application.

If approved, the company is looking to offer plans in APS and Tucson Electric Power territories which are regulated by the ACC. SRP which is not regulated by the ACC would not be affected.

But approval likely will not happen without a fight.

As recently as 2019 Commissioners held workshops about retail competition and came to no conclusion. And regulated utilities in the past have expressed concern about what would be a significant change in how power is provided to Arizonans.

Parsons said the company is not deterred.

“We believe that we have the right to serve customers in Arizona. And I think that, you know, we'll go through whatever process we need to be able to achieve that,” Parsons said.

ACC spokesman Nick Debus told ABC15 “the Commission will evaluate the application and take the appropriate action in due course.”