Recommendations Made to Improve All-Source Request for Proposals (RFP) Process

In April, Rocky Mountain Power submitted a proposed All-Source Request for Proposals (RFP) for approval by the Utah Public Service Commission. The RFP solicits over 4 GW of clean energy resources to come online by the end of 2024. 

Utah Clean Energy along with other stakeholders have reviewed the proposed RFP, making comments and recommendations intended to enhance the fairness and transparency of the RFP process. One of these stakeholders, by law, is an Independent Evaluator (IE) retained by the Public Service Commission. “The overall objective of the IE . . . is to ensure the solicitation process could reasonably be expected to be undertaken in a fair, consistent and unbiased manner and results in the selection of the best resource option(s) for customers in terms of price and risk.”

As part of its review of the RFP process, the IE released a report containing its findings and recommendations related to the design and solicitation process of the RFP. Generally, the IE believes that the proposed RFP will “lead to the acquisition and delivery of electricity at the lowest reasonable cost to the retail customers.” However, the IE provided a number of recommendations to improve the RFP and encourage “a more competitive process for the benefit of customers.”

Independent Evaluator Recommendations

  • Allow PPA bidders to offer either a 30-year term or a 25-year contract with up to a 5-year extension that is a firm price and would be exercised at the option of the buyer;
  • Require Rocky Mountain Power to hold a workshop or technical conference for bidders to walk the bidders through the offer forms and to guide the bidders in completing the required forms in an effort to minimize errors on the part of bidders completing the offer forms;
  • Approve Rocky Mountain Power’s request for a waiver of the bid blinding requirement, but still require blinding for questions and answers related to the bidding process;
  • Allow existing resources to bid into the RFP; 
  • Create a separate RFP for demand response and energy efficiency resources;
  • Clarify and adjust the weight given to certain evaluation criteria; and
  • Allow projects in PacifiCorp Transmission’s interconnection queue as of April 1, 2020 to bid, as opposed to January 31, 2020

Next Steps

Utah Clean Energy will be responding to the IE’s recommendations through formal comments to the Utah Public Service Commission, due June 15. Members of the Clean Energy Business Coalition that would like to provide input on our comments, please contact our staff attorney, Hunter Holman.

The Public Service Commission will review these comments and the IE’s report and issue a decision approving or denying the proposed RFP, or approving it with conditions. We expect to see a decision by the Public Service Commission by the end of the month. If approved, Rocky Mountain Power plans to issue the RFP to market in early July.

AUTHOR

Hunter Holman

Hunter Holman

Staff Attorney

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