Cause of Action Institute is investigating the battle for retail market share in Arizona between electric power for consumers and businesses regulated and controlled by the Arizona Corporation Commission (“ACC”), and rooftop solar competition, including competition from SolarCity Corp., (“SolarCity”). The ACC is a quasi-executive regulatory agency in the Arizona state government. It is Arizona’s state regulatory body for non-municipal utility companies, including energy, heat, trash, water and communications firms. The ACC also oversees the incorporation of businesses, securities regulation and railroad/pipeline safety.
SolarCity provides technologies for mounting solar panels on rooftops developed by Zep Solar, which it acquired in 2013. Zep is best known for inventing a system that allows solar photovoltaic installers to join panels on the roof more quickly than other installation approaches to shorten installation time. SolarCity was co-founded in 2006 by brothers Lyndon Rive (CEO) and Peter Rive (CTO). Their cousin is Elon Musk, who serves as SolarCity’s Chairman. On August 1, 2016, SolarCity accepted Tesla Motors’ (Musk’s car company) offer to acquire the company for $2.6 billion. As of August 2016, Musk owned 22% of SolarCity stock.
Cause of Action Institute is seeking records and information regarding the FBI’s long-term, ongoing investigation of the financing of certain Arizona statewide electoral races in the 2014 election cycle, and the Arizona Public Service (“APS”), which spent unprecedented millions of dollars over the last three years to allegedly influence the regulators on the ACC. Additionally, CoA Institute is examining the relationship(s) between the Checks and Balances Project of Arizona (“CBP”), SolarCity, Save Our AZ Solar, Energy Choice for America, Renew American Progress, and Elon Musk, including but not limited to, the Bureau’s interactions with Scott Petersen of CBP, and former ACC Commissioner Gary Pierce, as well as any White House involvement in the FBI investigation’s genesis.
You can read the Cause of Action Institute FOIA request here.
Patrick Massari is Counsel at Cause of Action Institute