New York opens $150 million RFP for large-scale renewable energy

By Erin Voegele | April 28, 2016

On April 21, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the availability of $150 million in funding to support large-scale renewable energy projects. The funding will be provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in its final solicitation through the Main Tier of the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS).

The $150 million competitive solicitation supports private investment in renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, fuel cells, biomass, biogas and upgrades to hydropower projects. Contracts will be awarded for a term of up to 20 years.

According to the request for proposals (RFP), to be eligible, a bid facility must have commenced commercial operation on or after Jan. 1, 2003, or must produce new, incremental RPS-eligible attributes for new bid capacity above a historical baseline.

The RFP explains NYSERDA plans to hold a teleconference on May 3 to review the bid process, the application package requirements, the bid proposal requirements, the RPS standard, and form contract. NYSERDA will also provide an introduction to New York Generation Attribute Tracking System. The launch of NYGATS was announced along with the RFP. It issues certificates for all generation, including renewable energy credits (RECs) that quantify the environmental benefits—such as the lack of greenhouse gas (GH) emissions—from energy generation projects. 

The application deadline is May 26. NYSERDA encourages entities interested in participating in the procurement to submit a Notice of Intent to Bid Form as soon as possible. NYSERDA said it intends to notify prospective bidders as to their qualification status by June 16 and will provide instructions for step two bid proposals submission at that time. For step one qualified bidders, step two bid proposals must be received by NYSERDA by July 12.

According to information released by Cuomo’s office, NYSERDA’s previous ten Main Tier solicitations for large-scale renewable projects have resulted in approximately 1,849 MW of installed capacity at 67 projects that will generate more than 5 million MWh of renewable energy annually. NYSERDA has provided a total of $1.24 billion for Main Tier projects previously.

“This state is a national leader in combatting climate change and with this investment, we are taking our unprecedented efforts one more step toward a cleaner and greener New York,” Cuomo said. “This funding will advance large-scale energy projects, continue build a clean energy economy, and generate opportunity for New Yorkers for generations to come.”

"Governor Cuomo has established the most ambitious goals for a clean energy economy in the nation,” Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “By leveraging private investment, we make it possible for the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators to create a future defined by renewable, sustainable energy production. We will cut costs to consumers, create jobs and combat climate change for the coming generations."

Additional information, including a full copy of the RPS, is available on the NYSERDA website.