News Release

Commissioners O'Connor and Márquez Peterson Lead the 2023 Arizona Energy Reliability Summit: Preparing for Summer Demands

Arizona Corporation Commissioners Jim O’Connor and Lea Márquez Peterson co-chaired the state’s Summer Preparedness and Energy Reliability Summit to discuss strategies ensuring adequate electricity and gas service during the upcoming summer months and the near future. Commissioners heard from the state’s largest utilities that Arizona is well-prepared for the hottest days of summer, but they advised keeping a close eye on rising temperatures and continued economic growth.

The diversification of energy sources was a shared theme by the speakers, including representatives from Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric Power. They highlighted the importance of relying on a diversified generation mix to ensure reliable power is available to meet growing demand. Utilities are exploring large-scale batteries and flexible natural gas turbines to address potential power-generating capacity gaps estimated for 2026.

The Commissioners gave input to utility companies and power market managers on integrated resource planning strategies and adequacy programs. They shared approaches for managing supply chain risks, ensuring timely grid resource deployment, regional load balancing, local infrastructure enhancements, and encouraged reliance on mature technologies. Arizona faces challenges similar to other western states, such as supply chain disruptions and tight supply, but the fast-growing economy and new development projects create additional challenges in procuring and building new generation sources in a timely manner.

During the Summit, discussion included cybersecurity and the physical security of critical grid components. Arizona utilities spoke about their continued investment in cybersecurity measures to safeguard the grid against potential attacks and maintain reliability. Extreme natural events like wildfires, droughts, and prolonged heatwaves place significant strain on the grid, so utilities are implementing strategies to bolster grid resilience, utilizing wildfire prevention strategies, and enhancing the state's capacity to manage and respond to such incidents.

Resource adequacy, evolving resources, and customer loads on the grid are critical for sustaining a reliable power supply. As Arizona experiences increased power consumption due to continued economic growth, electric vehicle adoption, and greater reliance on renewable energy sources, the state must guarantee a stable and adaptable grid to accommodate energy generation and demand fluctuations. The Commission will monitor the criteria utilities use to calculate their resource planning, including ways to expand customer-friendly demand response programs, to ensure reliability amidst Arizona's business and population growth.

All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission's online docket and entering docket number E-99999A-22-0046.

Arizona Corporation Commission

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Phoenix, AZ 85007


Corporations Division

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Phoenix, AZ 85007


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Tucson, AZ 85701