On October 9, Dominion Energy Virginia (“Dominion”) published a request for proposals (“RFP”) seeking up to 80 MW of distributed solar resources in its Virginia service territory. The RFP defines “distributed solar” as facilities 3 MW (AC) or less in capacity. Bidders may propose to sell completed or partially completed projects. Dominion is also accepting purchased power proposals under which Dominion would purchase the output (including all environmental attributes) from facilities owned by private companies.
The RFP was conducted pursuant to the terms of the Virginia Clean Economy Act (“VCEA”), 2020 House Bill 1526. The VCEA requires Dominion to comply with annual renewable portfolio standard (“RPS”) targets. The law also requires Dominion to petition the State Corporation Commission (“SCC”) for approval to construct or acquire (or purchase the power output from) at least 16,100 MW of new solar and/or onshore wind resources by 2035.
Both the RPS section and the renewable energy procurement section of the VCEA require Dominion to invest in distributed generation (“DG”) resources, including solar. These DG requirements apply to Dominion, but not to Virginia’s other large investor-owned electric utility, Appalachian Power (“APCo”).
The VCEA’s RPS requirements are found in Section 56-585.5 C. This section requires Dominion and APCo to obtain an increasing percentage of their electricity sales from renewable energy sources. The law also states that Dominion “shall meet one percent of the RPS Program requirements in any given compliance year with solar, wind, or anaerobic digestion resources of one megawatt or less located in the Commonwealth.”
The renewable energy procurement section of the VCEA, Section 56-585.5 D 2, requires Dominion to petition the SCC to add at least 16,100 MW of new solar and/or onshore wind resources by 2035. This section of the VCEA includes a separate solar DG requirement. The law states that this 16,100 MW amount must include “1,100 megawatts of solar generation of a nameplate capacity not to exceed [3 MW] per individual project.”
Dominion’s RFP states that it “prefers facilities with a Unit Capacity of 1 MW or less.” Such facilities, provided they satisfy all other requirements of the VCEA, could presumably be used to satisfy Dominion’s DG obligations under both Section 56-585.5 C (i.e., the RPS section) and Section 56-585.5 D 2 (i.e., the renewable energy procurement section).
In addition to price, Dominion states that it will evaluate proposals based on several “non-price criteria,” including the proposed facility’s “expected use of labor, materials and other resources within Virginia and from Virginia businesses.”
The RFP document, instructions, and checklists are available online here. Interested parties must submit an intent to bid form by October 30. Asset purchase proposals are due by January 8, 2021, while power purchase proposals are due by March 1.
Please contact regulatory attorneys Will Reisinger or Matt Gooch should you have any questions about this RFP or the Virginia Clean Economy Act.
ReisingerGooch PLC provides regulatory and transactional counsel to clean energy companies and individuals, online at ReisingerGooch.com.