High Court Dismisses Tesla, Arizona Case Amid Settlement Talks

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Fawn Johnson Washington Editor Fawn Johnson Washington Editor

By Fawn Johnson

The U.S. Supreme Court on March 22 dismissed a dispute over electricity rates between Tesla Inc. subsidiary SolarCity Corp. and Arizona’s largest utility, a case it had agreed to hear in December.

The justices dismissed the petition because the parties notified the court March 8 that they are pursuing settlement talks. Oral argument was scheduled for April 17.

SolarCity attacked the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District’s proposed rate increase only for Arizona customers that generate some of their own electricity from rooftop solar panels. Those customers would see a 65 percent increase in their electricity rate, but households that buy all of their power from the grid would see no change.

SolarCity challenged the move under federal antitrust law and as an intentional interference with contract and future economic advantage.

The district court dismissed SolarCity’s federal antitrust claims but held that the state law claims against the public utility could proceed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said Salt River couldn’t appeal the decision until the lawsuit is over.

The case is Salt River Project Agric. Improvement & Power Dist. v. SolarCity Corp. , U.S., No. 17-368, petition dismissed 3/22/18 .

To contact the reporter on this story: Fawn Johnson in Washington at fjohnson@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Jenkins at sjenkins@bloomberglaw.com

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