Appalachian Power issues second RFP for solar projects in Virginia

The new RFP has a minimum bid size of 10 MW, extends the operational date to December 2022, and provides developers the option of including a battery energy storage system (BESS) with their proposal, the company said

Noting that a request for proposals (RFP) issued in late 2018 did not result in any viable solar projects, American Electric Power’s Appalachian Power said recently that it has issued a second RFP for up to 200 MW of solar energy resources that will reduce customer costs and further diversify the company’s electric generation mix.

The new RFP has a minimum bid size of 10 MW, extends the operational date to December 2022, and provides developers the option of including a battery energy storage system (BESS) with their proposal, the company said.

Businesses seeking to submit a proposal can access criteria, required forms, and other information at www.appalachianpower.com/go/rfp, the company said, adding that proposals must be submitted by March 12.

Virginia Senate Bill 966, passed in 2018, requires Appalachian Power to build or acquire solar resources before 2028, the company said, adding that if the RFP results in suitable projects, Appalachian Power will seek regulatory approval for them in Virginia and West Virginia.

The company said that under the RFP, it may acquire a single or multiple solar facilities from winning bidders that meet certain economic and operational criteria.

Qualifying projects must be operational by Dec. 15, 2022, and qualify for the federal investment tax credit, the company said.

To qualify for consideration, projects must be located in Virginia, have a minimum project size of 10 MW, and be interconnected to Appalachian Power’s Virginia distribution system or PJM Interconnection, the company said.

As noted in the RFP, AEP subsidiary American Electric Power Service Corporation (AEPSC) is administering the RFP on behalf of Appalachian Power.

The RFP noted that Appalachian Power is requesting bids that will result in obtaining up to about 200 MWac of nameplate rated solar energy resources via one or more purchase and sale agreements (PSA) for purchase of 100% of the equity interest of the project’s limited liability company.

Bidders may include in their proposals, as an option, a solar energy resource with a BESS no larger than 10 MW of capacity, the RFP said, adding that standalone BESS proposals will not be accepted.

Existing projects will be permitted to participate in the RFP but must have a commercial operation date on or after July 1, 2017, the RFP said.

The project must have a minimum design life of 30 years, the RFP noted, adding that proposal pricing must be for the company’s acquisition of a turnkey project that is a complete, commercially operable, integrated solar-powered electric generating plant designed for a minimum of a 30-year life, including solar modules, inverters, power stations, balance of plant equipment, operations and maintenance facilities, SCADA and all facilities required to deliver energy into the Appalachian Power distribution electrical system or PJM.