Recently in Oregon Renewable Energy Standard Category

PacifiCorp Issues Oregon Solar RFP

May 1, 2013

PacifiCorp late yesterday issued a Request for Proposals ("RFP") for Oregon solar photovoltaic projects. The RFP is intended to help PacifiCorp comply with Oregon's Renewable Portfolio Standard, which includes a requirement for utilities to acquire solar power.

The RFP seeks bids from solar systems with a capacity of between 500 kW and 5 MW. PacifiCorp aims to acquire a total of up to 6.7 MW of solar capacity. Projects must interconnect directly with PacifiCorp's system or have firm transmission capacity to deliver power to the PacifiCorp system. Responses to the RFP are due on June 11, with final selection of winning bids scheduled for October 4, 2013. The project must achieve commercial operation by December 31, 2014.

If you have any questions about the RFP, PacifiCorp, the Oregon RPS statute, or other matters concerning renewable energy development, please contact a member of GTH's Renewable Energy practice group. We have decades of experience in all aspects of renewable energy development, including siting, permitting, contracting, financing, state and federal tax issues, transmission and interconnection.

Ocean Energy On the Move in the Northwest: Oregon Adopts New Rules, FERC Finds No Significant Environmental Impacts for Snohomish PUD's Admiralty Inlet Tidal Project

January 30, 2013

Several recent developments in Oregon and Washington suggest that ocean energy -- electric generation driven by wave and tidal action -- is about to step onto the renewable energy stage in the Pacific Northwest. These developments include important policy changes in Oregon and the achievement of a major milestone for Washington's most important tidal energy project.

In Oregon, the state's Land Conservation and Development Commission on January 24 adopted a major amendment of the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan that identifies four areas off the Oregon Coast where renewable energy development will be preferred. The sites, off Camp Rilea, Nestucca, Reedsport, and Lakeside, comprise approximately 25 square miles, about 2% of Oregon's territorial sea. Two of the sites are thought to be ideal for shallow-water technologies and two for deep-water technologies. The Plan also identifies areas where renewable energy development might be permitted if conflicts with existing uses can be avoided or mitigated. These areas comprises roughly 163 square miles, about 11% of Oregon's territorial sea. Finally, the Plan identifies areas that will remain off limits to ocean energy development due to potential conflicts with existing uses, sensitive ecosystems, and similar concerns.

The amendment has been in the making since 2008, when, faced with a proliferation of FERC preliminary permits for ocean energy exploration and development, then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski declared a moratorium on such development. Since that time, Oregon's Land Development and Conservation Commission has been engaged in an extensive public process to identify existing uses, environmentally-sensitive areas, and important scenic and recreational areas, with the aim of ensuring that ocean energy development does not compromise any of these values. The new amendment is the culmination of that process.

Continue reading "Ocean Energy On the Move in the Northwest: Oregon Adopts New Rules, FERC Finds No Significant Environmental Impacts for Snohomish PUD's Admiralty Inlet Tidal Project" »

Oregon Releases 10-Year Energy Plan, Emphasizing Conservation, Renewables, Infrastructure Investment, and Alternative Fuels

December 19, 2012

On December 17, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber released Oregon's "10-Year Energy Action Plan," which sets out a long-term framework for Oregon's energy policy. While not binding, the Plan is likely to catalyze action by both the Oregon legislature and Oregon state agencies to carry out the plan's recommendations. Renewable energy producers, utilities, and others in the energy industry will be particularly interested in recommendations that would change Oregon's Energy Facility Siting process, restructuring financing for renewable energy projects, and increase funding for energy-related research and innovation.

The plan is built around three core objectives: (1) to meet 100% of Oregon's electric load growth through energy conservation and efficiency measures; (2) to remove financial and regulatory barriers to development of the infrastructure needed to encourage renewables; and, (3) to transition Oregon's vehicle fleet to electricity or alternative fuels. Many of the specific recommendations to carry out these objectives should be of great interest to those working in the energy industry.

Continue reading "Oregon Releases 10-Year Energy Plan, Emphasizing Conservation, Renewables, Infrastructure Investment, and Alternative Fuels" »

Portland General Issues RFP Seeking 101 MW of Renewable Capacity

October 3, 2012

On October 1, Portland General Electric ("PGE") issued a Request for Proposals ("RFP") seeking approximately 101 aWM of renewable generation. PGE is requiring the renewable generation to meet its obligation under the Oregon Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires PGE to obtain 15% of its energy from renewable resources starting in 2015. Hence, bids must be from resources that qualify as "renewable" under Oregon's RPS legislation. Such sources include solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal/ocean energy, as well as biomass, biogas, and hydroelectric power within specific limits.

PGE's prefers for its purchase obligations to commence at the end of 2015. However, bidders may submit proposals with deliveries commencing anywhere in the 2013-17 window. In addition, bidders may propose to sell PGE power under a traditional Power Purchase Agreement, or may propose a structured transaction in which PGE would take an ownership share of the generation resource.

PGE will submit its "benchmark" proposal -- that is, its self-build option, against which outside bids will be evaluated -- on October 30, 2012. Bidders will be required to submit their bids to PGE on November 13, 2012. By February 5, 2013, PGE aims to finalize the short list of bidders with whom it will then negotiate final contracts.

If you have any questions about the MOU and responding to PGE's need for renewable energy, please contact a member of GTH's Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology practice group. We have years of experience in the energy industry, electricity, project development, financing, licensing, and related fields.

Northwest Renewable RFPs: Seattle City Light Issues RFP For Renewable Resources, Portland General's Is Due Soon

September 18, 2012

In what has become an annual autumn ritual, Seattle City Light recently issued a Request for Proposals ("RFP") seeking up to 150,000 MWh of renewable energy or Renewable Energy Credits ("RECs"), with delivery to begin in 2020.

While City Light promises to consider a broad range of proposals, including proposals in which City Light would take equity ownership, there are several important conditions: (1) the energy and/or RECs must be from "eligible renewable resources" as defined in Initiative 937, Washington's voter-approved renewable portfolio standard; (2) project proponents must demonstrate that they are sufficiently creditworthy to deliver the promised energy or RECs; and, (3) City Light prefers baseload resources to complement its existing generation portfolio, which is heavily weighted toward hydropower. Although City Light probably would have issued the RFP in any event, it is worth knowing that City Light previously contracted for purchase of RECs from Exergy Development Group's recently-terminated wind projects in Idaho, which would have had a total capacity of 116 MW.

Notices of Intent to Respond are due October 1 and full proposals are due October 15. City Light aims to complete contracts with developers chosen in this RFP by February of next year.

Meanwhile, Portland General Electric continues to move forward with its RFP for renewable resources. The draft RFP will be reviewed at the Oregon Public Utility Commission's September 25 meeting. Barring a major setback for PGE, the final RFP should be issued in the near future.

More Fireworks: PGE Issues RFP For Renewable Energy

July 10, 2012

Getting the Fourth of July holiday off with a bang, Portland General Electric ("PGE") announced on July 3, 2012, the release of draft documents that will govern bidding for its purchase of 101 aMW of renewable energy. PGE intends for the new resources to be on-line by 2015. The RFP announcement follows on the heels of PGE's RFP for baseload and other resources, as reported in our blog on June 12.

PGE is one of the few utilities in the Pacific Northwest that needs to add significant resources over the next few years. The renewable RFP therefore represents a unique near-term opportunity for the Northwest's renewable energy producers.

In accordance with the Oregon PUC's competitive acquisition policies, the RFP has been issued in draft form. Interested parties will be given an opportunity to comment on the draft documents, and PGE will conduct a workshop to discuss the documents on July 16. PGE will then submit a revised set of RFP documents to the Oregon PUC on July 25, with the aim of issuing the final RFP on September 25 and receiving bids by November 6. Ultimately, PGE aims to select the winning bids by February 5, 2013.

The draft RFP documents are available at the Accion Group website. Accion is the independent evaluator retained by the Oregon PUC to objectively identify the best bids submitted in response to the RFP. (note: you will need to register in order to obtain access to the documents). If you have any questions about either of the PGE RFPs, please contact a member of GTH's Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology practice group. We have years of experience in renewable energy and the unique Pacific Northwest utility industry.