Fitch Rating on Friday revised the rating outlook for Pinnacle West Capital Corp. to negative and lowered two short-term ratings for Arizona Public Service debt, citing delays the utility is experiencing in getting rate increases approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission at the same time that it faces huge capital expenditures.
APS spokesman Alan Bunnell downplayed the significance of the revision, saying the company is working with the regulatory commission on plans to pay for expansion of its infrastructure to meet growth.
He declined to say if the company will seek an electric-rate increase next year. But he said “by 2020 we expect to need 3,300 megawatts more energy, which is almost the entire current output of Palo Verde (Nuclear Generating Station). The bottom line is whatever resource option ... we choose, we have to figure out a way to pay for it.”
In June, the commission approved a $322 million, or 15 percent, rate increase for APS, which helped the company cope with higher costs for natural gas to run some of its power plants. The company filed the rate case in late 2005.