Platte River issues RFP for 250MW of solar PV, encourages battery storage as part of projects

Platte River is encouraging developers to submit proposals that include a battery storage element. Image: Lightsource bp.

Platte River Power Authority has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to obtain up to 250MW of new solar PV generating capacity that could begin producing energy by 2025.

A not-for-profit, community-owned public power utility in Colorado, Platte River has called for the largest amount of new renewable capacity to date and “encourages any proposed project to include a battery energy storage component”.

Developers are encouraged to “consider proposing projects that could interconnect with Platte River’s transmission system”, including regions in northwest Colorado and the northern Front Range, Platte River said.

“Particular consideration may also be granted to smaller projects – 25MW or less – that could connect to the distribution systems of one or all of Platte River’s owner communities,” it added.

The request also enables bidders to propose installations that could interconnect anywhere on Platte River’s transmission system, including the distribution systems in the owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland in Colorado.

Within each project proposed, developers are encouraged to include a battery energy storage system (BESS) component capable of providing 100% of the project’s nameplate capacity for at least four hours and be dispatchable by Platte River when needed.

“Connecting solar and battery storage on both the transmission and distribution systems will improve reliability and further advance our strategy of system integration,” said Jason Frisbie, general manager and CEO of Platte River. “The goal is to have distributed energy resources in every owner community.”

In 2018, Platte River’s board of directors adopted the ‘Resource Diversification Policy’ that calls for its leadership to pursue a 100% renewable energy mix by 2030.

In 2020, Platte River maintained 100% transmission system reliability and provided power to its owner communities at the lowest wholesale rates in Colorado. “With an additional 250MW of solar generating capacity, Platte River estimates its overall annual energy production will be approximately 54% noncarbon,” it said in a media release.

Proposals are due 18 February 2022, after which Platte River will develop a short list of potential projects that add up to approximately 250MW and sign power purchase agreements later in the year.

A link to the RFP site can be accessed here.