Rhode Island issues RFP for 400 MW of renewable energy

By Pierce Atwood LLP | September 27, 2018

National Grid, Rhode Island’s largest electric distribution company, has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for 10 - 15-year contracts for up to 400 MW of nameplate capacity of renewable energy and renewable energy certificates (RECs) from newly-developed renewable energy resources with nameplate capacity of at least 20 MW and not exceeding 200 MW each. While each eligible bidder is required to submit at least one proposal that is at least 20 MW and no more than 200 MW, any such bidder may also submit one or more alternative proposals with nameplate capacity of more than 200 MW and no more than 400 MW.

Bidders must submit final proposals by noon on Oct. 29. National Grid, in conjunction with the Rhode Island Department of Energy Resources and the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, will select winning bids in May 2019, with the resultant power purchase agreement(s) between National Grid and each winning project subject to review and approval by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.

Developed in conjunction with the state's Office of Energy Resources and approved by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission, the RFP will facilitate Rhode Island’s ability to achieve its goal to increase the state’s clean energy portfolio ten-fold by 2020, as articulated by Gov. Gina Raimondo.

The RFP is limited to “newly developed renewable energy resources,” a term that under Rhode Island law includes solar, wind, small hydro, eligible biomass, fuel cells, and waste-to-energy combustion generation facilities that have neither begun operation nor obtained financing necessary for construction. Successful bids must offer commercially reasonable pricing below the forecast market price of energy and RECs over the term of the proposed contract. The RFP does not require a bid project to be located in Rhode Island, however, any selected project must provide substantial direct economic benefits to Rhode Island, such as job creation or property tax revenues. Bidders must propose separate prices for energy and RECs reflecting a fixed price, a fixed rate, or an indexed price at or below ISO-NE Day Ahead or Real Time Locational Marginal Prices.

The soliciting parties will evaluate submitted bids to ensure that the selected project(s) satisfy, (1) minimum threshold bid requirements such as product type and length of proposed contract; (2) price and non-price criteria; and (3) other objectives, including project viability, cost-effectiveness, and diversity of resources.