Ten days left to register for 500 MW of wind and solar power in Virginia

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Following the inaugural 500 MW solicitation in the fall of 2018 as part of the broader 3 GW requirement set by the 2018 Energy Plan, Dominion Energy Virginia is now starting the second 500 MW Request for Solar and Wind Proposals (RFP) for projects due to come online in 2021 or 2022.

Projects can range in size from 5 MWac to 500 MWac. These will sign 20-year power purchase agreements that have an option for the utility to buy out the projects after 6 years, and will include all value generated by the power plants – including capacity, energy, ancillary services and environmental attributes. Projects are to include a 2.5% escalator, and offer site control options of 35 years.

Notices of Intent to Bid (.docx) and Confidentiality Agreements (pdf) are due August 15, 2019, with final asset purchase and power purchase proposals due October 3, 2019 and January 16, 2020. Dominion noted projects able to safe harbor to 2019 30% ITC would get favorable treatment.

Noted in tab C1: Technical Info – Solar (above image), of the 2019 Solar and Onshore Wind RFP Information Form, are data requirements such as 8760 information and high level technical data on system hardware as well as DC and AC system capacity. Dominion also wants electricity generation data on the DC side and AC side, and then what electricity is actually projected delivered to the point of interconnection.

Also noted in the RFP is that Dominion has developed self-build options for PV solar and/or onshore wind generation in Virginia, that while these projects will not be included as an independent bid in this RFP, Dominion may build projects in addition to completing this RFP.

The utility noted in the main document, 2019 Solar and Onshore Wind RFP (PDF), that the bid package must include a summary of the proposed credit package to support bidder’s contractual commitments, such as parental guaranties and letters of credit, including amounts/limits. The credit package, at the time an agreement is executed, shall provide a minimum of:

  • Upon PPA execution: $90/kW
  • Upon COD and completion of performance demonstration: $60/kW

The document stated, “Strong evidence of bidder’s ability to obtain project financing will be evaluated favorably”. The below chart describes various level of credit Dominion would allow, relative to the size of the bidding firm and their ratings from the various credit bodies.

Other developments by the utility include 350 MWac in six projects with Facebook, and at least some of this will count toward the 3 GW requirement. As well, in late June the utility launched two other RFPs – one for community solar, and the second for smaller than 1 MW sized projects.

The 2018 law specifically calls for 500 MW of solar energy from projects of 1 MW or less, 50 MW of rooftop solar from projects of at least 50 kW, and for one-quarter of the projects to be owned by third parties.

All in all, Dominion calculates that it has 30 projects totaling 884 MWac of solar generation in operation or under construction.