Got a couple spare megawatts? Call PSEG

Long Island energy supplier PSEG has issued a Request for Proposals to help make good on a three-year-old promise.

In an October 2012 resolution, the utility’s trustees set a power-supply strategy that, among other things, diversified regional resources with “continued efforts to enhance existing renewable energy programs” and “future renewable energy procurements.” Specifically, the trustees determined to add 400 megawatts of new renewable-energy generation to PSEG’s portfolio.

Operational and proposed initiatives approved since that 2012 resolution – including the utility’s Clean Solar Initiative II and Clean Renewable Energy Initiative – account for about 180 MWs. With roughly 210 MWs to go, PSEG issued a new RFP Tuesday, wanting to hear from anyone who can generate 1 MW or more of renewable energy.

Well, not just anyone: Proposals must live up to the Renewable Portfolio Standard, federal regulations setting parameters for wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy generation.

The new RFP has three components:

  • The 2015 Renewable RFP is open to any renewable resource of at least 1 MW that can offer a fixed price and connect to the power grid at a single point. Resources will inject power directly to Zone K (Long Island) or feed Zone K through a dedicated power line, and project developers “will be required to obtain community support,” according to the RFP.
  • The Fuel Cell Feed-In Tariff seeks resources to inject power directly to PSEG’s Long Island grid at points that would benefit most from a reliable backup boost. PSEG is still piecing this one together – proposed tariff language is “targeted for release for public comment” early in 2016 – but the utility is already looking to score 40 MW through the fuel cell feed-in component.
  • The Commercial Solar Feed-In Tariff solicits rooftop and carport solar projects of a particular size – greater than 200 kilowatts, less than 1 MW – to inject up to 20 MWs directly into the Long Island grid. Proposed tariff language is also slated to face public comment in the first quarter of 2016.

The three-headed RFP is not the first power plea PSEG has issued this year. In June, the utility issued a South Fork RFP looking for 220 MWs from renewable and traditional sources. Designed to address peak load demands during heat waves and other extreme events, the June RFP also intended to direct some 60 MWs of electricity directly to East Hampton and portions of Southampton, according to PSEG.

Renewable resources stemming from that RFP, as well as a coming-soon Western Nassau RFP, may help the trustees hit their 400 MW goal, the utility said.

PSEG may also consider proposals totaling more than the remaining 210 MWs, in case projects from the earlier initiatives “do not come to fruition,” the utility said.