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APS to spend $1M on regulator race, cites solar cash

Posted: 3:45 PM, Oct 24, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-24 22:47:51Z

The parent company of Arizona's largest electric utility is jumping into the state utility regulator election by creating a political committee and contributing $1 million to support three Republican Corporation Commission candidates.

Pinnacle West Capital Corp. issued a statement Monday saying the spending was needed to counter spending by a major solar company backing two candidates. Pinnacle West owns Arizona Public Service Co., a regulated utility.

Former Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes runs a group supported by SolarCity that is backing two candidates, a Republican incumbent and a Democrat. She says APS is working to make solar unaffordable so "SolarCity decided to back candidates it believed were pro-solar."

APS wants the Corporation Commission to cut the amount residents with rooftop solar panels are paid for excess power.