Posted by: jbarnesca | November 16, 2013

RAM 4 Winners From SCE and PG&E

Yesterday the Advice Letter for the RAM 4 winners and losers came in from PG&E.  The SCE winners had been posted earlier on Oct. 31st, so here are some first comments from the information contained in those two advice letters.

I usually check on the SCE listings first.  As was noted in this case also, winners of the same project for the SCE and PG&E RAM will chose SCE if winning both to get a better TOU schedule in general.

The winners in SCE are shown in this copied table from the Advice Letter Filing.  Solar Electric Solutions, E.ON, NRG, Silverado, and the Samsung group are winners this round.

SCE RAM 4 Winners

PG&E was unable to meet their RAM 4 capacity goals because they stated that projects were lost due to selection of another program or other reasons.  They stated “PG&E received ninety-nine (99) eligible offer variations in the as-available-peaking product category. …other primary and waitlisted offers in this group declined selection due to having accepted  PPAs in other IOU RAM solicitations, having accepted PPAs in municipal utility solicitations, or an inability to complete their project at the price they offered.”  However they are planning to award one more PV program from the waiting list to get closer to their stated goals of that RAM round.

Their winners are shown in the copied table from their Advice Letter. 8 Minute Energy is there once again.

PG&E

From the SCE letter they had submissions of 1.2GW from 80 bids from 39 separate entities for their solicitation.  There had been 126 submissions for 2.021GW initially submitted, before rejection of some of the submissions as not passing the screens for the RAM RFO.

This trend of placing an unrealistic bid to win a RAM PPA, then figuring out that it was not financeable or buildable at that low price, is a continuing and increasing characteristic of these programs in CA.

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Responses

  1. ” unrealistic bid to win a RAM PPA”
    Do you have some numbers? I was reading this a minute ago:
    http://votesolar.org/2013/04/30/first-ram-projects-on-line-in-california/
    It seems that at least some of the very cheap projects are being delivered.

    • The Vote Solar and many other articles correctly point to massive building of projects from the early RAM, CREST, SPVP, PG&E E-SRG, and now first LADWP programs. So it appears that CA has great solar PV growth, but there are difficulties in the present. There is evidence that a high clearing price average for the RAM did exist at the $0.89/KWh level as that was what set the first price for the Re-MAT program. However, the bidding for the RAM 3 and now RAM 4 solicitations are another matter.

      As this has passed to the sub $0.07/KWh level with a much lower TOU payment table, this is causing the drop outs and failure to execute in the program.

      Desperation in the LAST RAM 5 for new year could produce even more low bids as many 20MW programs have no PPA possibilities except that last one in the foreseeable future. The annual RPS RFO wants projects in the 2016-17 or later time frame for meeting goals.

      • So If I understand you correctly, developers are anxious to get a project in before the RPS are attained. They bid a really low price to get in, but only follow through if economics can work when the time to begin construction arrives, otherwise walking away from the project ?

        Isn’t there a financial guarantee of some sort they need to post before they can bid ? What is the cost of walking away from a project ?

  2. John, so how much is SCE going to allocate for the 5th auction? And how low are people bidding? That doesn’t make sense to put the effort in only to break even or lose money…

    • Tim,
      At the time of the filing by SCE they state that the RAM 5 final round for them will be a total of 232.3MW.

      Since everything falls into the last RAM 5 bucket for each of the utilities, at the moment, correct participation in this round will be key for developers.

      Bidding at what seemed to be ridiculously low rates to win has proven to work sometimes in the past in the long run. Look at the Recurrent Energy wins in the Sacramento Utility District FIT program as examples. I was surely wrong in thinking that would never work then!

      In general the before TOU bids are hovering around the $0.0725/Kwh level it would seem.


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