Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill Impacting Renewables

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Governor Hobbs Rejects Legislation Hindering Arizona’s Renewable Energy Goals

Governor Katie Hobbs of Arizona vetoed a bill this week, stating that it would have a significant negative effect on the implementation of renewable energy in the state. In a letter addressed to Speaker Ben Toma, Hobbs explained that the legislation, HB 2618, not only promotes inconsistent regulations for renewable energy projects across the state but also creates additional confusion for businesses in terms of regulatory compliance.

The bill aimed to amend existing state statutes concerning solar and wind power plants by introducing complex new regulations for plant owners and developers. These regulations include the establishment of precise zoning standards, site-specific conditions, and permitting requirements that cities, towns, and counties must adopt. It also required plant owners to provide some form of financial assurance, such as a bond, to account for potential bankruptcies or project abandonments. Additionally, the bill mandated that plant owners submit a decommissioning and site restoration plan before obtaining a land use permit or application.

Governor Hobbs argued that HB 2618 would ultimately hinder Arizona and their ability to attract and grow a renewable energy ecosystem, which is vital for creating well-paying jobs in the state. The Sierra Club and the Interwest Energy Alliance, a group representing renewable energy project developers and manufacturers, also opposed the bill. In conclusion, Governor Hobbs invited legislators to collaborate with her in finding consistent and predictable solutions for renewable energy permitting and decommissioning regulations.

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