Talon News - Good Local News

By Debbie Israel
TALON 

Aztec City Commission meets

Votes unanimously for solar moratorium

 

January 27, 2017



A proposed moratorium on connection of customer generated electricity was the topic of discussion at the Aztec City Commission meeting on Jan. 24.

City of Aztec Electric Director Ken George requested that the city place a moratorium on allowing customers to install and connect solar systems to the city’s power supply until the cost-of-service study is completed and a new rate structure can be established.

George cited several questions that he feels need to be answered before the city can move forward with contracts for the solar customers. He feels that he can’t answer many of the questions until the rate study is completed and new utility rates are decided on. That study will most likely be finished by July 1.

Currently, the new moratorium would cause a problem for the Aztec Municipal Schools, who have already been approved to move forward with their solar project at McCoy School, but would have to stop progress if the they are not excluded from the new rule.

Aztec’s School Superintendent Kirk Carpenter told commissioners that he should have been given a chance to sit down and talk with city officials before the moratorium became an issue. “This meeting should have taken place a long time ago and not at a commission meeting. These questions should have already been answered,” he said. He felt there should have been a discussion between the Aztec Municipal School District and the electric department. The school is asking to be excluded from the moratorium because their project was approved by the city in December and they are already moving forward with it. This project will be the second for the school district, the first being solar panels at the bus barn.

The school officials are also asking that they be included in the cost of service study, as they have done research into the costs of their project, and how that will affect the city. “It’s important that the schools participate in the rate study,” Gary Martinez, Finance Director for AMSD, said.

After much discussion, city commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the temporary moratorium, with the exception of the McCoy project that is currently in progress.

 

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