On July 8th, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (“DEEP”) issued its request for Proposals for Class 1 renewable energy resources (as defined by Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 16-1(26) in an amount of up to 4% of the load distributed by the state’s electric distribution companies (“EDCs”) (approximately 174 MW of installed capacity, or 525 MW of wind—equivalent installed capacity). The RFP was issued pursuant to Public Act 13-303, An Act Concerning Connecticut’s Clean Energy Goals.

In the event that the Department finds any proposals submitted in response to this Notice to be in the interest of ratepayers, the Department may direct the EDCs to enter into power purchase agreements (“PPAs”) for periods of up to twenty (20) years. The Department intends to evaluate proposals on an expedited basis to maximize the likelihood that selected projects will be eligible for certain federal tax benefits, conferring an intended benefit to Connecticut consumers by lowering the cost of access to renewable supplies of electric power. Questions are encouraged, and all questions must be submitted no later than July 22, 2013. The deadline for proposals is August 5, 2013. Proposals received after that date will not be considered.

The Department intends to evaluate proposals in two stages. In Stage One, proposals will be evaluated on the basis of whether certain eligibility requirements set forth in the RFP are satisfied. In Stage Two, proposals will be evaluated based on price and non-price criteria.

An Eligible Facility must be an electric generation facility that satisfies all of the following standards:

  1. The electric generation facility must qualify as a Connecticut RPS Class 1 renewable energy resource pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 16-1(26).
  2. The generation facility must have a commercial operation date, as verified by the Department, on or after January 1, 2013 or be either a capacity expansion of an existing generation facility or a repowering of an existing generation facility that was not previously a RPS Class 1 renewable energy resource, where the capacity expansion or repowering has a commercial operation date, as verified by the Department, on or after January 1, 2013, but not later than December 31, 2017.

Proposals must separate prices on a dollar per megawatt-hour ($/MWH) basis for energy and renewable energy credits (“RECs”), or RECs only. The minimum contract size is twenty (20) MWH per hour of energy and a corresponding amount of RECs. Applicants may offer bids for any of the following: the entire production of energy and RECs from the Eligible Facility; RECs only from its proposed Eligible Facility; and/or any portion of the production of energy and/or RECs for its proposed Eligible Facility, provided such portion is 20 MWh per hour or greater. Applicants must also demonstrate that they have control, or a right to acquire control, over a site for the proposed project, including any necessary easements or rights-of-way to interconnect the project. Proposed prices may not be conditioned upon the availability of federal tax credits or other government subsidies.

The proposed schedule for the bidding process is:

Notice/RPS Solicitation; July 8, 2013

Submit Notice of Intent to Bid; July 15, 2013

Deadline for the Submission of Questions and changes to the PPA; July 22, 2013

The Department posts Responses to Questions submitted; Deadline for Questions on PPA; July 29, 2013

Due Date for Proposal Submissions; August 5, 2013

Selection of Applicants; August 20, 2013

EDCs Negotiate and Execute Contacts through; September 3, 2013

Submit Contracts for PURA Approval; September 9, 2013

PURA Approval; October 9, 2013

Additional details related to the RFP can be found here.