By Jason Fordney
Western utility PacifiCorp is seeking bids for up to 1,270 MW of wind power to integrate into its system by the end of 2020.
Successful proposals for new or repowered wind projects must demonstrate that they qualify for the federal production tax credit and can achieve commercial operation by Dec. 31, 2020, according to the company’s request for proposals.
The RFP is for “new or repowered wind energy interconnecting with or delivering to PacifiCorp’s Wyoming system with the use of third-party firm transmission service and any additional wind energy located outside of Wyoming capable of delivering energy to PacifiCorp’s transmission system that will reduce system costs and provide net benefits for customers.” The minimum project size is 10 MW.
Portland, Ore.-based PacifiCorp said it would consider a “build-transfer” agreement where the developer assumes responsibility for construction and transfers the facility to PacifiCorp, or a power purchase agreement for up to a 30-year term.
“These new wind resources are a key part of the company’s plan to both meet customer energy needs and continue our cost-conscious transition to less carbon-intensive energy,” said Stefan Bird, CEO of PacifiCorp’s Pacific Power unit.
PacifiCorp will hold a bidder conference on Oct. 2, with notices of intent to bid due Oct. 9 and benchmark bids due by Oct. 10. RFPs for Wyoming-based projects are due on Oct. 17 and non-Wyoming projects on Oct. 24. Agreements will be executed by April 16, 2018, according to PacifiCorp’s schedule. The RFP requires approval from Utah and Oregon regulators.
PacifiCorp included in its 2017 integrated resource plan a proposal to add new wind resources. (See PacifiCorp IRP Sees More Renewables, Less Coal.) The wind energy will be procured in association with the new 500-kV Aeolus-Bridger/Anticline transmission line, a segment of PacifiCorp’s Energy Gateway, a 2,000-mile transmission project that has been developed over the past 10 years. The wind solicitation is part of the IRP’s “Energy Vision 2020” initiative, which also includes plans to repower and improve the utility’s current wind portfolio.
PacifiCorp is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy and serves 1.8 million customers in six states through its Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power subsidiaries. PacifiCorp operates 72 generating units with nearly 11,000 MW of capacity, which is currently 62% coal, 15% natural gas, 7% wind and 5% hydro, and the rest coming from biomass, solar, nuclear and geothermal.