Old Dominion Electric Cooperative issues solar power RFP
The RFP also invites, but does not require, proposals that include battery storage as part of the solar energy project.
ODEC is the wholesale power provider of 11 member electric distribution cooperatives, including Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative.
ODEC currently has purchase power agreements for 30 MW of solar energy from projects located at two sites in Virginia and is working with developers on an additional 135 MW of utility-scale and local solar power projects to be built at sites in Virginia and Delaware.
“If we can cost-effectively acquire the full 400 megawatts of energy envisioned by this RFP, ODEC will be increasing the solar power we provide our members by more than tenfold above today’s levels,” said Marcus Harris, president and chief executive officer of ODEC.
SVEC, too, believes a diversified energy mix should be used to uphold its mission of providing members with safe, reliable, and affordable electric service. SVEC will be dedicating a portion of its strategic plan for the future of clean energy integration.
These conversations will be ongoing at the board of director level during 2021.
Earlier this year, ODEC announced a strategic goal to reduce its carbon intensity by 50 percent (from 2005 levels) and to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 while maintaining a reliable and affordable supply of power. The cooperative indicated that developing additional sources of renewable energy would be a significant component of its strategy to achieve the goals.
“Adding cost-effective solar power to our portfolio will be an important step toward achieving ODEC’s CO2 reduction goals,” said Harris.
ODEC is working with the National Renewable Cooperative Organization to issue the RFP and to evaluate proposals from potential partners. ODEC was a founding member of NRCO in 2008. The organization has a long history of assisting ODEC and other cooperatives in the procurement of renewable energy resources across the country.
Solar developers who wish to submit proposals in response to the RFP can find more information on ODEC’s website or by contacting Scott Bradtmiller with NRCO at email@example.com.
Responses to the RFP are due by May 27.
ODEC is also working with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association to evaluate options to ensure that low- and moderate-income (LMI) cooperative consumer-owners can take advantage of local solar power projects. NRECA’s “ACCESS” project (Achieving Cooperative Community Equitable Solar Sources) is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and is working to develop tools and resources to assist electric co-ops deploy solar projects to the benefit of LMI consumers.
More information can be found on the ACCESS website.
Based on the current pace of solar project developments, ODEC estimates that projects procured under this RFP will come online between 2023 and 2025.