PacifiCorp has opened bids for as much as four.three gigawatts of photo voltaic, wind and battery storage initiatives, a part of an enormous clear vitality development plan that can open the utility’s six-state territory to third-party renewable vitality builders. 

This week’s all-source request for proposals (RFP) places arduous particulars to the procurement plan launched this spring, calling for a mixture of renewables and vitality storage that may be inbuilt time to seize the worth of federal wind and photo voltaic tax credit. All initiatives should have the ability to begin industrial operation by the top of 2024, except they’re pumped-hydro initiatives that require longer lead occasions. 

Whereas the phrases of the RFP enable for bids for various applied sciences, the solicitation is meant to help the long-range plans specified by PacifiCorp’s built-in useful resource plan filed final yr. That plan broke new floor for the 1.9 million-customer utility by setting its first long-range targets for changing the coal-fired energy it largely depends on as we speak with a mixture of photo voltaic and wind farms backed by vitality storage. 

PacifiCorp’s territory contains states which have set 100 % clear vitality targets, reminiscent of Washington, or have tried to take action, reminiscent of Oregon. Others, together with Utah and Wyoming, have resisted stress from activists and native governments to take this path. 

PacifiCorp’s built-in useful resource plan included a short-term most popular portfolio that guides the newly launched RFP, together with 1,823 megawatts of latest photo voltaic sources co-located with 595 megawatts of latest battery vitality storage system capability and 1,920 megawatts of latest wind sources. PacifiCorp’s most popular portfolio contains plans to shut 5 coal vegetation in Wyoming by 2028. 

PacifiCorp’s built-in useful resource plan identifies Wyoming because the probably web site of most of its new wind energy, the place new transmission strains are being constructed to seize the state’s excessive wind potential, together with Rocky Mountain Energy’s Gateway West mission. Its solar energy is being largely focused for Utah, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington. 

In a departure from its typical method of constructing and proudly owning technology belongings itself, PacifiCorp’s new RFP calls for 2 totally different transaction buildings that can depart mission improvement within the palms of third events. These embody energy buy agreements between 15 and 30 years in size, or build-transfer transactions by which bidders develop initiatives and promote them to the utility. 

Permitting third-party possession fashions is “necessary for retaining the variety of sources within the area.” Spencer Grey, govt director of the Northwest & Intermountain Energy Producers Coalition, instructed Greentech Media in Might. The commerce group’s members embody EDF Renewable Power, Invenergy, Constellation Exelon, Shell Power North America and others with important fleets of renewable vitality initiatives throughout the nation. 

Buffett’s combined observe file on clear vitality

PacifiCorp and its utility subsidiaries, Pacific Energy and Rocky Mountain Energy, are a part of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate. Berkshire Hathaway Power’s utility portfolio, which additionally contains MidAmerican Power in Iowa and NV Power in Nevada, has a combined observe file on clear vitality. 

Whereas MidAmerican has one of many largest wind energy portfolios within the nation, it’s additionally depending on coal-fired energy. NV Power fought photo voltaic internet metering for years earlier than dealing with a state voter backlash and has turned its focus towards procuring gigawatts of utility-scale solar-battery initiatives. 

Berkshire Hathaway has made important investments in fossil gasoline industries previously a number of years. This week it agreed a $10 billion buy of Dominion Power’s interstate pure gasoline pipeline and storage enterprise this week; Buffett lately admitted that an earlier $10 billion funding in oil firm Occidental Petroleum was “a mistake.”

Over an extended horizon, PacifiCorp’s built-in useful resource plan requires greater than four,600 megawatts of latest wind energy, greater than 6,300 megawatts of solar energy, and greater than 2,800 megawatts of vitality storage by 2038. But it surely additionally envisions including new natural-gas-fired peaker vegetation beginning in 2026. 

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