New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 29 announced that $250m is available to fund large-scale clean energy generation projects such as wind farms, fuel cells, biomass facilities, renewable biogas, and the upgrading of small- to medium-sized hydropower projects.
This competitive solicitation will promote the development of a broad range of new renewable energy resources and the contracts for these projects will be awarded for a term of up to 20 years.
“With access to some of the brightest minds in the country, as well as an abundance of renewal natural resources, New York has been a leader in renewable energy development and is committed to building a diversified, modern power grid,” Cuomo said. “This investment will help us reach this goal by driving the development of new projects and boosting economic growth in the process.”
Funding will be provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through the State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). NYSERDA’s previous eight RPS Main Tier solicitations for large-scale renewable projects have resulted in approximately 1,900 MW of installed capacity at 65 projects that generate more than 4.6 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy annually.
A recent New York State Public Service Commission order instructed NYSERDA to issue at least one more RPS solicitation in 2015, and double the length of the current contract terms to 20 years.
“In keeping with Governor Cuomo’s energy priorities, changes in this solicitation will increase the feasibility of developing large renewable energy generation projects in New York State that will spur economic opportunities,” said John Rhodes, President and CEO of NYSERDA. “We expect this updated program design to attract greater private sector investment to help reduce strain on the electric grid and protect the environment.”
For every dollar New York invests in RPS Main Tier projects, the state realizes an additional $3 in economic benefit. More than $2.7bn of direct investment in New York state is expected to occur as a result of existing Main Tier projects in the form of jobs, payments to public entities, in-state purchase of goods and services and land leases.
This ninth RFP covers facilities that enter commercial operation after Jan. 1, 2003, and on or before May 31, 2016, unless extended to Dec. 31, 2016, or July 17, 2017. The RFP will be implemented through a two-step process, consisting of: an application step that will prequalify bidders; and a competitive bid proposal submission step. Only those bidders found prequalified through the Step One application process will be permitted to submit bid proposals or otherwise participate in Step Two.
Application packages must be received by NYSERDA by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Aug. 25.
The RFP noted: “The issuance of this RFP falls within a period of uncertainty regarding the future availability of Federal Incentives, such as the Production Tax Credit, for certain Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Bid Facilities that have not entered Commercial Operation. In an effort to alleviate the risk associated with that uncertainty, the terms of the Standard Performance Contract for Bidders affected by this uncertainty will include a unilateral option to terminate, exercisable by the Bidder (Seller) between April 1 and April 15, 2015, with a full refund of all Contract Security provided as of the termination date. This option is limited and will be available only to Bidders of Class 1 Bid Facilities, as described in Section XIV.”