End of September will see departure of Arkansas regulator

Ted Thomas, Solar Power And the Cooperative View


Arkansas Public Service Commission chairman Ted Thomas is preparing to leave office at the end of the month after serving 8 years as Arkansas’ top utility regulator.

Thomas, 57 and an attorney, is heading to the private sector according to Arkansas Business. The paper reported that Thomas suggested his strong reputation as something of an outspoken Republican could also get him an appointment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

In particular, he was critical of how utilities are taking advantage of solar power development.

“Some of Thomas’ parting shots made headlines, like his language on certain electric cooperatives erecting obstacles to interconnecting rooftop solar arrays and other renewable projects. Now six of those cooperatives have fired back, indirectly, laying out what they say are legal obligations to protect their grid by demanding million-dollar insurance policies and other requirements from members with solar systems,” reported Arkansas Business.