Utilities and other offtakers had an appetite for renewable energy in 2014 according to a recently released white paper by Bloomberg News Energy Finance. The white paper catalogs the 52 requests for proposals (RFPs) by sector, geography, and company, revealing utility trends that can serve as a litmus test for the overall market. The RFP activity demonstrates the procurement interests and needs of the utility sector, which can greatly sway market and investor activity.

The white paper summary notes that solar RFPs dominated clean energy in North America, both in capacity (1.8 GW) and quantity (27 RFPs). With at least 12 RFPs issued, the solicitation activity revealed that a strong interest in energy storage also exists. Mr. Will Nelson, head of analysis for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, stated that “the data reveals particularly strong interest in energy storage . . . interestingly, most storage RFPs are looking for a relatively small amount of capacity, evidence that these may be initial experimental forays into a rapidly changing sector.”

As energy storage technology moves out of the experimental phase and becomes a more integral part of the modern grid system, it is likely that utilities will continue soliciting projects. According to Greentechmedia “the country is forecasted to deploy 220 megawatts in 2015, more than three times its 2014 total, and growth should continue at a rapid clip thereafter.” The 12 storage RFPs issued in 2014 reflect that utilities may be eager to help the nascent industry find firm roots in servicing macrogrid load.

Special thanks to Morgan Gerard who assisted in the preparation of this post.