2021-10-24 The Role Of Antitrust Law In Energy Democracy

This 1 hour podcast discusses lawsuits, antitrust against SRP – Salt River Project, among others. This was originally by Solar Cities which was bought by Tesla. Tesla and SRP settled out of court, so sadly the court never got to make a legal decision.

This has to do with an electric utility making it difficult for homeowners to install a rooftop solar system in Arizona. The utility uses the franchise granted by the state to assert that it has a monopoly on the electric grid. But the states grant the franchise “for the benefit of the public”, not exclusively to the utility, a private corporation. The private corporation is only looking out for its shareholders.

They also talk about a utility in Minnesota. This podcast is important because the interviewee, Jean Su, is a lawyer for a center that is an amicus (friend of the court) in the case. The outcome of these lawsuits may decide whether the homeowner can be fairly treated as a generator of electricity. In some states the utilities have made it very difficult for anyone to put solar PV on their roof.


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