Midwest Energy looking for energy and capacity interest

Midwest Energy, an electric and gas utility serving central and western Kansas, has issued a request for interest (RFI) from parties interested in supplying capacity and energy.

The utility, which serves about 50,000 retail electric customers, with wholesale sales to eight municipal utility systems, could be looking at a potential gap of 160 MW in 2017, according to the Sept. 17 RFI document.

Responses are sought by Oct. 18. The RFI is for conventional resources.  Midwest procures renewable capacity through other solicitation processes, the utility said in the RFI.

Based in Hays, Kansas, Midwest Energy is forecasting the need to meet its expected load and replace various power supply contracts that will end soon.

Midwest will consider offers based on purchased power agreements, participation in existing generating units, joint ownership in new generating units, and self-build generation options to meet the expected requirements. Respondents may also elect to propose other alternative arrangements as well.

Midwest currently gets most of its capacity and power requirements from contracted resources. Midwest Energy currently owns and operates a peaking plant of with a capacity of less than 90 MW.

The utility is currently facing a deficit of approximately 160 MW for 2017 due to certain contract expirations.

Midwest is soliciting information on potential new resources in the range of 25 MW to 175 MW to fill the gap between the anticipated load and previously committed resources.

Midwest operates within the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) regional transmission organization, which is moving toward a nodal market. The SPP Integrated Marketplace is expected to commence operations in the spring of 2014.

Under this operation, Midwest is expecting to procure energy from the SPP Market and use its assets to sell energy into the SPP Market. Capacity from its assets will be used to satisfy its capacity obligations. Therefore, submittals under this RFI should include capacity that will satisfy the SPP capacity obligations for accredited capacity to meet load and reserve requirements.

Midwest owns and operates a transmission system that provides interconnections to other utilities in the region.

The RFI should enable interested parties to submit expressions of interest “in a less formal environment” than a request for proposals, the utility said in an 11-page document.

Midwest has retained Burns & McDonnell to assist in the solicitation process. Any questions concerning this RFI can be submitted to Mr. Kiah Harris of Burns & McDonnell at the following email address: kharris@burnsmcd.com.

It is requested that any questions be submitted in writing. General discussions of the process can be made by telephone. Harris can reached at 816.822.3174.

If Midwest, in its sole discretion, determines that a commercial transaction should be pursued, it will notify the company that it desires to work towards a mutually agreeable transaction.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.