PacifiCorp Issues RFP For Major Wind Expansion


As part of a broader wind and transmission expansion plan, PacifiCorp is formally seeking proposals to build new wind projects by 2020.

The request for proposals (RFP), issued Sept. 27, establishes a competitive bidding process for the company to select the most cost-effective way to add at least 1.1 GW of new wind generation to the resource mix used to serve customers across six states. The exact capacity of the new resources will depend upon response from the market, the utility says.

The RFP is seeking new or repowered wind projects interconnecting with or delivering to PacifiCorp’s Wyoming system with the use of third-party transmission and any additional wind energy located outside of Wyoming capable of delivering energy to PacifiCorp’s transmission system. The minimum project size is 10 MW, and the maximum size limit is not fixed; however, the project must not compromise system reliability, the company says.

The proposed additional wind generation would produce power equivalent to the annual consumption of approximately 400,000 typical homes. It would expand the amount of PacifiCorp’s owned or contracted wind serving customers by about 35%.

“We have a golden opportunity to cost-effectively expand the amount of renewable energy serving customers,” says Stefan Bird, president and CEO of Pacific Power, the PacifiCorp unit serving customers in Oregon, Washington and California. “These new wind resources are a key part of the company’s plan to both meet customer energy needs and continue our cost-conscious transition to less carbon-intensive energy.”

The new wind energy is also part of the company’s Energy Vision 2020 initiative, which will also repower PacifiCorp’s existing wind fleet and build a 140-mile, high-voltage transmission line in Wyoming to help more wind power connect to PacifiCorp’s transmission system.

The Energy Vision 2020 projects were identified in the company’s 2017 Integrated Resource Plan as the most cost-effective option to meet customers’ energy needs over the next 20 years, says PacifiCorp. Furthermore, completing the projects by 2020 will allow customers to benefit from production tax credits and provide a net savings for customers over the life of the projects, the company adds.

Responses to the request for bids are due by Oct. 17 for Wyoming projects and Oct. 24 for non-Wyoming projects. The company expects to have made final decisions and completed agreements by mid-April 2018.

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