Posted by: jbarnesca | May 8, 2011

SCE & PG&E 2011 RPS RFO Solicitation Schedule

Since the next significant solar PV programs for the utilities are not until the late fall for the RAM programs, the bidding attention for this spring and summer has turned to the very important RPS solicitations of SCE and PG&E. It is important to note that last year no program was approved, so we have two years of pent up demand, with huge programs needing a PPA approval to proceed.  Interconnection CAISO Cluster #2 and #3 projects, and other large projects have been waiting for this program for some time.

On April 14th the CPUC   Decision Conditionally Accepting 2011 Renewables Portfolio Standard Procurement Plans and Integrated Resources Plan Supplements (Decision 11-04-30) set in motion deadlines for these programs.

The utilites are allowed a little deviation in their programs, but the timing is basically the same.  Here are some of the key dates for SCE and PG&E.

  • Release of RFP/RFO  May 11th
  • Bidders conference    SCE 25 May, PG&E May 16th
  • Deadline for submission of offers   SCE June 22nd(bidding close July 6th), PG&E June 15th
  • Shortlist notification   SCE Aug 17th,  PG&E August 15th
  • Shortlist submission to CUC   SCE Sept. 5th,  PG&E TBD

This 2011 season RPS solication should result in a huge fight of projects rushing toward a below MPR bid in outer years of 2016 or further out, praying that pricing will be low enough at that time to be sufficient for them to make some IRR for their investors.  Remember that you will chose the year of operation in your bid, that can be many years away but still helps the utility with their RPS requirements for 2020.

For the winners, there will be a relief that they now have all of the information necessary to proceed or not proceed with huge solar projects that have been in planning for years, that also have been chewing up money with no guarantee of any PPA buyer and a totally unknown price.

On the positive side once again we should see California scheduling large amounts of solar PV projects that add up to meeting the mandated 33% RPS 2020 goals. On the other hand why once again are no large projects coming online in 2011 and 2012 to create jobs and solar energy for California now, when we really need them?

A different RFO to produce significant DG solar projects in a faster manner, with shorter interconnecion times, lower transmission upgrade costs, and shorter permitting times was supposed to be the result of the infamous SB 32 program approved in September 2009.   What ever happened to that important idea and program, as it continues to be delayed, stalled, criticized, formally objected to with infinite “protest letters”, and smothered by large political forces in CA?

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