New England Clean Energy RFP delayed !
The trio of southern New England states looking to collectively buy more than 1GW of renewable power from places like Maine and Canada have delayed announcing the winning bidders, saying they need more evaluation time.
Clean Energy RFP
Last year three space-constrained states in the northeastern US – Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island – launched the so-called New England Clean Energy Request for Proposal, attracting more than 2GW worth of project bids in Maine alone from many of North America’s pre-eminent wind developers.
Developers had expected the winners to be notified in July or August. But the RFP’s evaluators issued a statement this week saying “additional time is needed” as a result of the “complexity of the analysis and the volume of bids”.
“We will continue to move the process forward as quickly as possible,” the statement says, with no new timeline given. “Final results of the RFP will be announced to the public when executed contracts are filed for regulatory review.”
Among the projects that were bid into the tri-state RFP is SunEdison’s 600MW King Pine in Maine’s Aroostook County, recently acquired by Pattern Development, which would be one the largest onshore wind farms on the continent, let alone the East Coast.
Other bidders include NextEra Energy, RES Americas, EDP Renewables, and Deepwater Wind, which is looking to branch out into onshore development.
The RFP could be worth as much as 1.5GW if all the capacity went to onshore wind, says Dave Wilby, who was until recently a vice president at SunEdison, and is now an independent consultant.
“In terms of past solicitations that have occurred relevant to the wind industry [in the northeast], this is the single biggest thing to come along,” Wilby told an industry conference last week.
The timing of the RFP may be complicated by the imminent announcement from Massachusetts of a state energy bill that is expected to include a large carve-out for offshore wind.
Wilby says it’s difficult to determine what impact the Massachusetts bill will have on the tri-state RFP, but “there will be some influence”.
The complexity of the RFP is increased by the fact that many of the projects that were bid in would require large transmission projects to go along with them.
Transmission constraints in Maine, in particular, may tip the northeastern renewables market towards offshore wind, an official at the region's grid operator has said.
► Source - May need membership Login ◄