Three California utilities call for renewables including hydro

Three California investor-owned utilities have issued solicitations for proposals to supply energy from eligible renewables, including some hydropower and ocean energy.

Pacific Gas &Electric Co., Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas &Electric Co. issued solicitations to comply with a state law that requires 20 percent of their energy portfolios to come from renewable sources by 2010. Each utility prepared a renewable energy procurement plan, which the California Public Utilities Commission reviewed ahead of the solicitations.

California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard Program requires investor-owned utilities each year to procure a minimum quantity of electricity from eligible renewable energy resources. The amount must increase by at least 1 percent each year, and reach 20 percent of total retail sales no later than 2010.

Eligible hydro-related renewables include hydroelectric projects of 30 MW or less and ocean wave and tidal current projects. New small hydro facilities are eligible, but only if they do not require a new or increased appropriation of water.

Pacific Gas &Electric

Pacific Gas &Electric Co. issued its request for offers March 12, calling for renewable energy supply to meet its reserve margin requirements and energy to meet its renewables portfolio standard obligations.

Similar to a 2006 solicitation, PG&E said projects can be proposed in the form of power purchase agreements from generation sources owned and operated by others, or sites suitable for development of renewable energy projects. (HNN 7/7/06) PG&E said it would accept deliveries anywhere in California, potentially avoiding uneconomic transmission costs.

PG&E seeks agreements with a delivery term of 10 to 20 years beginning in 2007 or beyond. Deliveries starting in 2007, 2008, or 2009 are preferred. Participants can offer delivery terms of 10, 15, or 20 years, or a mutually agreed term approved by state regulators. The utility wants to procure about 1 to 2 percent of its retail sales volume or between 750,000 and 1,500,000 MWh per year. PG&E seeks energy and capacity through two procurement mechanisms: power purchase agreement, and utility ownership.

Notices of intent to bid are due by March 19, followed by an April 3 bidders’ conference. Bids are due May 31. PG&E plans to execute final agreements with sponsors during the third and fourth quarters of 2007.

PG&E’s 2007 solicitation documents are on its Internet site, www.pge.com/rfo.

Southern California Edison

Southern California Edison issued its request for offers March 12, seeking both near-term and long-term renewable energy.

The near-term need is for renewable energy that can be delivered by Jan. 1, 2011. SCE said evaluation criteria favors proposals from facilities that can begin operating before Jan. 1, 2011. (HNN 10/13/06)

A proposal conference is planned April 4, with proposals due May 18. Bidders are to register their intention by April 13 by sending a copy of the non-binding notice of intent included in the procurement protocol by e-mail to renewableproposals@sce.com.

The RFP and related documents are on SCE’s Internet site, www.sce.com/renewrfp.

San Diego Gas &Electric

San Diego Gas &Electric Co. announced its solicitation March 13, calling for resources to expand its renewables portfolio. SDGE said proposals can be for peaking, baseload, dispatchable, or as-available deliveries.

Proposed resources can include capacity and energy from: repowering of existing facilities; incremental capacity upgrades of existing facilities; new facilities; existing facilities with expiring contracts; or eligible resources under contract with SDGE. SDGE said it would consider offers to extend terms of, or expand, contracted capacities.

The utility said respondents can propose 10-, 15-, or 20-year power purchase agreements for capacity and/or energy from eligible renewable resources, commencing deliveries in 2008, 2009, 2010, or 2011. Resources can be located anywhere in California, or outside the state in some cases if specific criteria are met.

SDGE also said it would consider: proposals involving power purchase agreements with SDGE buyout options; and proposals to develop, permit, and construct new renewable generating facilities to be acquired by SDGE. Resources in those two scenarios must be located in the San Diego or Imperial Valley areas, and must begin delivery in 2008, 2009, 2010, or 2011.

A pre-bid conference is planned March 30. Bids are due May 30. SDGE intends to issue a short-list of successful proposals July 16, and submit proposed contracts to state regulators Dec. 31.

The solicitation and all subsequent revisions and documents are available from the utility’s Internet site, www.sdge.com/renewablerfo2007.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power accepts bids

Although not subject to the state renewables portfolio standard imposed on investor-owned utilities, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power already has called for proposals to increase its supply of electricity from renewables. It previously requested proposals by April 10 for 2,200 gigawatt-hours annually of energy and capacity from renewable energy sources, including some hydro and ocean resources. (HNN 2/9/07)

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