Supreme Court Rules Southpoint Plant Subject to Tax

What is the most complex legal field?  I would argue that it's taxation followed by Indian Law.  If you are looking for the most complex single issue, your best bet is taxation issues in Indian Country.  The AZ Supreme Court just decided the Southpoint case and the result has implications for power plants or other energy facilities built on Tribal Lands.  The case is unbelievably complex.  The tax court ruled that Mohave County could tax Calpine's Southpoint plant even though the plant was on a Reservation.  The Court of Appeals reversed the tax court and then the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals.

Here's the result.  

¶37 Here, South Point indisputably owns the Plant, and the property taxes fall solely on it and not the Tribe’s land. Consequently, § 5 does not exempt the Plant from taxation, and the court of appeals erred by holding otherwise.

Here's the case.  

 


Tax Normalization Meeting with Congressman Schweikert

SchweikertInvestor owned utilities are pushing an amendment to the federal budget reconciliation bill that would allow them to opt out of Investment Tax Credit Normalization requirements.  This selective opt out would incentivize monopoly utilities to self-build rather than enter contracts with third parties.  Independent Power Producers oppose the change as anti-competitive and have urged members of Congress not to adopt the change.   The AZCPA is planning to submit comments similar to the ones below.  Additionally, we hosted a conference call with Arizona Congressman David Schweikert who is a member of the Ways and Means Committee.   

Mr. Schweikert is quite familiar with the intricacies of utility taxation and it was a productive call.  

Here is a Wall Street Journal article on the issue.  The article quotes Dan Nelson who was on the call.  Here's additional information from SEIA.  Factsheet-Normalization

 

 

 

 


SunZia in the News

David Getts is the longest serving board member of the New Mexico Independent Power Producers and the Arizona Competitive Power Alliance.  David recently addressed the annual meeting of the Energy Bar in Washington DC.  This article covers his remarks on the SunZia project.  

WASHINGTON — If SouthWestern Power Group had known how difficult and expensive its SunZia transmission project would be, the company probably wouldn’t have pursued it, General Manager David Getts said.

Getts has been working for 16 years on SunZia, a project to deliver wind power from sparsely populated New Mexico into Arizona for consumption there and in California. It’s taken so long that the company is now on its fourth law firm — and fourth presidential administration, dating back to that of George W. Bush. The Phoenix-based company has spent $200 million to date, thanks to backing from parent MMR Group, a large, privately held electrical contractor based in Baton Rouge, La.


Next RPAC meeting

Arizona Public Service hosts a "Resource Planning Advisory Council"  Here is the latest update.  (Let me know if you would like additional information about the RPAC Meetings.)

Good Afternoon RPAC Participants,

We are preparing material and agenda for the upcoming meeting June 7th. As we continue to facilitate and provide industry updates and information related to resource acquisition and planning, we are focused on the headwinds and challenges around project development. We are looking at setting aside some agenda and meeting time to hear perspectives from you all as you would like to volunteer to share them related to that. We have identified and divided some of the challenges into a few general areas including:

  • Equipment delivery logistics and cost
  • Manufacturing workforce COVID lockdowns
  • Dept. of Commerce AD/CVD investigation
  • Commodity price volatility
  • Interconnection and permitting activities

If you would like to share a perspective on one of the above aspects, we would ask that you respond by June 1st, letting us know and which topic you would be talking to. We appreciate and value the open discussion and Q&A after each topic is covered and that is always an opportunity for interaction as well.

 

 

 


Good Summary of the Headwinds

Here's an interesting article from the Economist.

America’s clean-energy bosses thought they would by now have more to celebrate. In the presidential campaign of 2020 Democrats tried to outbid one another on climate plans—Joe Biden offered $2trn, Bernie Sanders’s Green New Deal was $16trn—as if the nomination would go to the highest bidder. In the three months after Mr Biden defeated Donald Trump, an index of clean-energy firms jumped by about 60%. Goldman Sachs, a bank, forecast “a new era for green infrastructure” in America and beyond.

 

 

 

 


APS Announces RFP

 

RPAC Members,

APS and 1898 & Co. are pleased to announce the release of APS’s 2022 All Source Request for Proposals (“RFP”). APS has issued a press release related to this which you can find here. The RFP is seeking offers from interested parties for proposals for resources in-service between early 2025 through June of 2027. Information regarding the RFP and how to participate is available on APS’s website at the following location: (https://www.aps.com/rfp). The RFP document that was developed with feedback from you all will be available publicly at this same website location.

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude for all of the dialogue and feedback received with the working group as well as the overall RPAC Members in the build up to this release! We are excited to see what new resources may be identified through this process to enable APS’s Clean Energy Commitments. Further, we look forward to continued dialogue and discussion with this group as this RFP process progresses and on the continued evolution of APS’s RFP process in the future.

The schedule below represents the expected timeline for conducting this RFP solicitation. We will share updates at our next RPAC Meeting on June 7th and look forward to seeing many of you there in person!

RFP schedule

 

 


City of Coolidge votes to Limit Solar Development

From the Coolidge Examiner:

COOLIDGE — Members of the Coolidge citizens’ committee aimed at preserving farmland and stopping the spread of solar projects clapped and rejoiced Monday night as the City Council voted to approve the removal of solar facilities from the list of permitted uses on local agricultural land.

An effort that has been nearly a year in the making — involving cooperation between the citizens’ committee, Development Services Director Gilbert Lopez and City Manager Rick Miller to move forward two zoning code amendments to the council — has proven successful following a unanimous approval of both.