"There’s a war brewing over the future of rooftop solar, and Arizona is at ground zero.
Pinnacle West Capital Corp., which owns the state’s largest utility, last week said it has formed a third-party group to support candidates for an elected state board that regulates their industry. The move promises to inject $1 million into a race in which SolarCity Corp., a rooftop solar provider, is already planning to spend $2 million though a nonprofit it supports, according to officials from the two groups.
It’s the latest twist in a three-year political battle that’s been punctuated by charges of undue influence, an ongoing probe by the U.S. Attorney’s office and $300,000 in threatened state fines. At stake: A board ruling on a request to raise fees and drastically cut how much homeowners are paid for the solar energy they generate. It’s a decision, foes say, with the potential to hamstring a growing renewables industry."