SolarCity Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Arizona Utility Salt River Project


solar_310_221PHOENIX, AZ – California-based solar installer SolarCity filed an anittrust lawsuit Monday in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, asking the court to stop Arizona utility Salt River Project (SRP)’s anti-competitive behavior.

The suit specifically pertains to SRP’s pricing plan, which was approved by SRP’s board on Feb 26.

SolarCity further explained its grounds for the lawsuit in a post on its company blog Tuesday morning, available at the following link:

The attorney for SolarCity Fred Norton, said it is the first time the California-based installer has filed a lawsuit regarding a utility seeking to raise rates on solar customers.

The Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association (AriSEIA) Board of Directors this week also sent a letter to the SRP Board of Directors calling on them to reject management’s proposed rate tariff for solar customers within SRP territory.”The penalties SRP is imposing are so extreme and so massive, a customer cannot afford to go solar,” he said.

Officials with SRP, which had hearings over three months on the new rate plans that were passed Feb. 26 and received plenty of feedback from the solar industry, said there was nothing improper about the price plan passed by its board.

“As a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility, SRP’s obligation is to provide low-cost and reliable power to its more than 1 million customers, said Mark Bonsall, SRP’s general manager and CEO, in a statement. “SRP has done so for generations of Arizona citizens and will continue to do so by seeking low-cost alternatives that provide maximum financial and reliability benefits for all of our nearly 1 million customers.”

SolarCity contends SRP is using its monopoly power to cut new customers off from solar and said the company is violating federal and state antitrust acts.

As we reported on February 25th, the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association (AriSEIA) Board of Directors is also not pleased with the rate tariff for solar customers within SRP territory. See for full story.