A group of First Energy affiliated utilities have released a request for proposals (RFP), aiming to procure 20 MW of solar and associated credits via power purchase agreements. Pennsylvania Power Company (Penn Power), Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), West Penn Power Company (West Penn) and Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed) are actively seeking proposals.
Eligible bids will be structured as power purchase agreements (PPA) ranging from four to ten years, with a capacity up to 20 MW. The proposal includes a request for both the electricity produced, and the associated Solar Photovoltaic Alternative Energy Credits (SPAECs).
Pre-qualification deadline for the RFP is Monday, November 7, 2022. Notification of pre-qualification will follow on November 14, 2022. The proposal due date is December 5, 2022. The RFP process is managed by The Brattle Group.
Solar in Pennsylvania
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports that Pennsylvania has just under 1 GW of solar cumulatively installed through Q2 2022. SEIA projects that the state may add another 1.9 GW over the next five years alone.
Scott Elias, director of state affairs, mid-Atlantic for SEIA said that increasing the carve out under the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (APS) standard will send a demand signal to boost solar in the state. The requirement set back in 2004 was .5%, which has been exceeded. SEIA is aiming to push it to 2% or 2.5% by 2030. “We want to make sure that Pennsylvania is not less valuable for development than neighboring states,” said Elias.
As for residential adoption of solar in Pennsylvania, a positive note is that the state has no cap on net metering. In 2007, the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) expanded the net-metering rules, which approved the use of third-party ownership models. Furthermore, utilities must provide the same rates to net-metered customers as non-net metered, and they may not charge any fees that do not apply to other customers.
Net-metered customers are credited for excess generation at the full kilowatt-hour rate, which includes generation, transmission and distribution changes. Meter aggregation is allowed on properties owned or leased by the customer, which can benefit commercial entities that may have multiple buildings with separate meters that fall under the same account. Virtual net meter aggregation is also allowed.
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