RFP news: Bid for 12 commercial solar projects in Southwest Virginia totaling 2.73 MW

solar RFP

The Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia is seeking bids for 12 solar projects totaling 2.73 MW of energy generation as part of its Commercial-Scale Group Purchase Program. The projects to be developed on businesses, nonprofits and local government properties across Lee, Scott, Tazewell, Washington and Wise counties are part of the Solar Workgroup’s goal to connect building owners and solar companies to develop cost-effective solar projects. The installations will both help participating building owners save money as well as serve as “ambassador” projects to demonstrate the benefits of the growing solar industry.

“This request for proposals is an illustration of not only the strong potential for solar in Southwest Virginia, but also the hard work of the Solar Workgroup to facilitate the growth of the solar industry in our region,” said Chelsea Barnes, New Economy Program Manager for Appalachian Voices, a co-convener of the workgroup.

The request for proposals (RFP) is available for download here.

This is the second RFP the group has issued for solar projects in less than a year. The first round in late 2018 included six projects totaling 1.5 megawatts and was awarded to NCI Inc., of Richmond, Va. The projects included in this new round include four installations for the town of Pennington Gap, and a carport and rooftop installation for the iconic Western Front Hotel in St. Paul, among others.

“Pennington Gap is excited to be in this program and taking advantage of solar power. We feel this is another great opportunity to create some untapped savings that we can pass along to our citizens,” said town manager Keith Harless.

“Hospitality that celebrates the region’s history, natural resources and friendly people will play a big role in the new economy. The Western Front Hotel is excited to participate in this proven and cost-effective energy technology and to encourage other private, civic and commercial enterprises to do the same,” said Hal Craddock with the development group Creative Boutique Hotels and the Western Front Hotel.

The Solar Workgroup focuses on the seven counties in Southwest Virginia that have historically relied on coal with a goal to use the growth of a locally rooted solar industry as an economic catalyst. The jurisdictions in which the proposed projects are located are also currently working to achieve SolSmart designation, a U.S. Department of Energy program that signifies to the industry that Southwest Virginia is open for solar business.

Proposals are due by May 21.

The Solar Workgroup will conduct site visits on April 11-12 and hold a mandatory pre-bid meeting on April 12, which may be attended in person or via webinar. Contact Austin Counts by April 5 at austin@appvoices.org to RSVP for the site visits and to obtain the pre-bid meeting location. Register to attend the pre-bid meeting webinar here.

— Solar Builder magazine

DC Sustainable Energy Utility issues two huge ‘Solar for All’ requests for proposal

solar RFP

On Tuesday, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) issued two requests for proposal (RFPs) worth up to $9.6 million seeking contractors and developers for one of the largest income-qualified solar energy efforts in the country.

The District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE)’s “Solar for All” program, which kicked off in 2016, is designed to decrease energy costs for thousands of low-income DC families. The DCSEU will implement a new round of “Solar for All” initiatives starting in 2019 with $32 million in total funding available over three years.

Solar contractors and developers can find more information about the RFPs on the Contracting Opportunities page of the DCSEU’s website. The deadline to submit questions about the RFPs is December 17, 2018 and the deadline to respond to the RFPs is January 9, 2019. Selected bidders are expected to be awarded in early 2019.

RFP and program details

The DCSEU is pursuing developers to build community renewable energy facilities (CREFs) as well as contractors to install solar systems on approximately 100 income-qualified DC households annually.

IREC, Vote Solar develop this new checklist to improve community solar design

The DCSEU has previously partnered with DOEE to facilitate the instillation of hundreds of solar panels on income-qualified homes in the District—over 500 systems were installed between 2012 and 2016 alone.

“As we work together to realize Mayor Bowser’s goal to expand access to locally generated solar energy for residents in all eight Wards, we are excited to welcome DCSEU as a new partner in this effort,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells.

The DCSEU’s “Solar for All” work is expected to benefit up to 6,800 income-qualified DC households in total.

“While paying energy bills can be a burden for anyone, it can especially impact low-income families,” said Ted Trabue, Managing Director of the DCSEU. “Through the ‘Solar for All’ initiative, thousands of DC households will be able to cut their energy bills through the low cost and efficiency of solar energy.”

“Solar for All” supports the District’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Expansion Amendment Act of 2016, which aims to provide the benefits of solar energy to 100,000 low-income households and to reduce their energy bills by 50 percent by 2032. The program also supports the District’s Clean Energy DC climate and energy plan which serves as a roadmap to reduce DC greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2023.

— Solar Builder magazine

Duke Energy Carolinas issues RFP for 750,000 MWh of renewable projects

Duke EnergyFurthering efforts to provide renewable energy to customers, Duke Energy Carolinas issued a request for 750,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy located in its territory. The RFP is open to solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas and other facilities that qualify as a renewable energy resource under REPS requirements – excluding swine and poultry waste. Facilities must be located in the DEC service territory.

Click here for info on submitting an RFP.

“We want to encourage market development of more renewable generation in the Duke Energy Carolinas system in the most competitive manner possible,” said Rob Caldwell, president, Duke Energy Renewables and Distributed Energy Technology. “This RFP gives developers the opportunity to either pursue projects themselves or sell current projects under development to Duke Energy.”

The RFP calls for 750,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy and associated renewable energy certificates (RECs) located in the DEC territory. A REC, equaling one megawatt-hour of renewable energy generation, demonstrates Duke Energy’s compliance with the renewable energy mandate.

The 750,000 MWh figure is about what 400 MWs of solar capacity would generate in a year. When operating at peak capacity, it is enough to supply the energy needs of nearly 62,000 residential houses.

RELATED: The value of a team approach to fixed-tilt ground-mount projects 

Interested bidders must already be in the DEC interconnection queue, which includes renewable projects already proposed in the region. The RFP allows bidders the flexibility to offer three options:

• Purchased power proposals;

• engineer, procurement and construction turnkey proposals in which Duke Energy takes ownership of the new facility; or

• project development proposals that are in the late stages of development where Duke Energy would take ownership and build the new facility.

Proposed projects must be in operation by Dec. 31, 2018.


— Solar Builder magazine

Appalachian Power issues solar RFP for Virginia (head here to bid)

RFP solar Virginia

Appalachian Power has issued pre-qualification documents for parties interested in bidding on an up-coming Request for Proposal (RFP) for up to 10 MW AC of ground-mounted solar energy resources located in Virginia. The RFP will seek proposals that allow Appalachian either to own one or more solar projects or purchase such solar projects’ output under one or more 20-year renewable energy purchase agreements.

Potential bidders can find additional qualification information and required forms here. Pre-qualification forms must be returned via email by Dec. 4, 2015.

The approved solar project of a pre-qualified bidder must be located within Virginia, be interconnected to the PJM Regional Transmission Operator (RTO) or Appalachian Power’s distribution system, and have a nameplate rating of 5 MW AC or more. An approved project must have started construction after Jan. 1, 2013, and be capable of being operational by Dec. 31, 2017.

RELATED: Iowa utility issues RFPs to boost solar generation by 50 percent 

Solar projects selected by Appalachian through the RFP process will be submitted to, and be conditioned upon receipt of appropriate orders from, the required regulatory authorities.

Appalachian Power currently has 375 MW of wind energy and 799 MW of hydro generation in its portfolio of power generation. It seeks to further diversify its fuel sources in the future and include utility-scale solar power in that mix.

Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 32,000 MW of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.

— Solar Builder magazine

Iowa utility issues RFPs to boost solar generation by 50 percent

Alliant Energy

Alliant Energy is seeking to expand its renewable energy generation with solar power. Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility is issuing a request for proposals for new solar projects that could increase its system-wide solar generation by 50 percent.

“We’re in a transition right now as we continue to move to a cleaner energy future,” said Doug Kopp, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility. “We’ve been increasing the use of different types of renewable energy for years, and now we are exploring ways to specifically provide solar power to our customers.”

The request is to build solar projects between one and 10 MW within Alliant Energy’s Iowa service territory, which could power between 200 and 2,000 average homes.

The RFP seeks a variety of options and configurations for new solar generation in Iowa, and the company hopes that developers will bring innovation to their proposals.

“There are a variety of ways we could design and deploy solar energy,” Kopp said. “We will be considering a wide range of options, from larger utility-scale solar fields to smaller community solar programs. We will engage customers, key stakeholders and interested parties to help us develop the new program options, rates and services.”

Alliant Energy has helped Iowa customers connect 1,650 individual solar or wind systems to the electric system, and recognizes that different customers need different options.

“The desire to tap into renewable energy is broader than the number of customers whose homes and businesses or incomes are suitable for rooftop solar, and we’re working on new energy solutions for our communities and customers,” said Kopp. “We’ll be listening to what our customers are interested in.”

Interested developers should email sellmypower@alliantenergy.com for a vendor pre-qualification form.

Request for proposals details

The RFP solicits utility ownership and/or long-term Purchased Power Agreement (PPA) proposals for new solar resources. The RFP is requesting that respondents install up to 10 MW of solar nameplate capacity and supply energy to Alliant Energy’s Iowa customers beginning in fourth quarter 2016. Notification of Intent to Bid is due Oct. 15, 2015.

— Solar Builder magazine