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PacifiCorp issues RFP for major wind facility expansion

As part of a broader wind and transmission expansion plan, PacifiCorp is formally seeking proposals to build new wind projects by 2020.

PacifiCorp this week issued a renewables RFP, setting out a roughly six months-long process that will result in more than 1.2 GW of clean energy being added to its system. 

Successful proposals for new or repowered wind projects must demonstrate that they qualify for the federal production tax credit and can achieve commercial operation by 31 December, 2020, according to the company’s request for proposals.

Projects can be located in Wyoming, Oregon or Utah. Bids are due at different times next month, depending on where projects are located.

Bids for Wyoming wind projects are due 17 October, while projects proposed for Oregon or Utah must be submitted by 24 October.

PacifCorp plans to execute agreements with the selected projects in mid-April of 2018.

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Plans also call for development of a new 140-mile, 500-kV transmission line projected to be completed by the end of 2020. 

The RFP is seeking new or repowered wind projects interconnecting with or delivering to PacifiCorp’s Wyoming system with the use of third-party transmission and any additional wind energy located outside of Wyoming capable of delivering energy to PacifiCorp’s transmission system.

The minimum project size is 10 MW, and the maximum size limit is not fixed; however, the project must not compromise system reliability, the company said.

Portland-based PacifiCorp said it would consider a “build-transfer” agreement where the developer assumes responsibility for construction and transfers the facility to PacifiCorp, or a power purchase agreement for up to a 30-year term.

The proposed additional wind generation would produce power equivalent to the annual consumption of approximately 400,000 typical homes.

It would expand the amount of PacifiCorp’s owned or contracted wind serving customers by about 35%.

“These new wind resources are a key part of the company’s plan to both meet customer energy needs and continue our cost-conscious transition to less carbon-intensive energy,” said Stefan Bird, CEO of PacifiCorp’s Pacific Power unit.

“We have a golden opportunity to cost-effectively expand the amount of renewable energy serving customers.” 

The RFP requires approval from Utah and Oregon regulators.

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