Renewable Energy Procurement for California Energy Utility.
Everyday, it seems there is news in the U.S. about companies or utilities looking to source even more solar and wind energy. New wind power projects are making electricity available at prices that are below the current grid price and solar power is heading down this same road.
Southern California Edison (SCE) has launched its sixth Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM) solicitation for renewable electricity as part of its program to procure resources sized between 3 and 20 megawatts.
In this solicitation, SCE is seeking a total of 104.8 megawatts, with 54.8 megawatts meeting the utility’s RAM procurement targets. It also is seeking 50 megawatts of solar resources to support the launch of SCE’s Green Rate program, which is part of the Green Tariff Shared Renewables program created for SCE, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric. The deadline for submitting offers is Aug. 21.
“Not only are we making progress toward the California Renewables Portfolio Standard goal of delivering 33 percent renewable power by 2020, but with this solicitation we also intend to provide customers who cannot otherwise install solar on their roof an option to source their energy demands directly from solar resources,” said Colin Cushnie, SCE vice president of Energy Procurement & Management.
The California Public Utilities Commission adopted the Renewables Auction Mechanism program for resources sized between 3 and 20 megawatts in 2011 as the primary procurement tool for system-wide renewable distributed generation to promote competition in the marketplace, encourage development and contribute to the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard. Additional criteria and offer qualifications can be found in the documents section of the program’s website at sceram.accionpower.com. To submit an offer in this solicitation, participants must register and complete prequalification on the site.
In addition to meeting these targets, 50 megawatts from this solicitation will support SCE’s Green Rate program. Eligibility criteria are different, in some respects, for participation in this program. Offers must be for new solar-generating facilities in SCE’s service area that range from .5 to 20 megawatts in size. Environmental justice projects will also be considered. Details can be found in the instructions section of sceram.accionpower.com.
The green tariff program allows customers, who may not be able to have solar on their roof, to meet 50 percent or 100 percent of their electricity demand from solar. The customer pays the difference in the cost to purchase this power. SCE will offer the program to its customers in 2016.
All power purchase agreements will be reviewed and become effective after approval by the utilities commission. Last year, SCE delivered 24 percent of its energy from renewable resources.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.