US Utility Opens RFP For All-Source Power Supply

Salt River Project Launches Tender To Procure 500 MW New Carbon-Free Power Generation Capacity To Ensure Reliable Supply In Summer 2026
Pictured is 100 MW West Line Solar Project that’s supplying electricity to Meta and SRP since February 2023. SRP is now seeking more carbon-free energy sources. (Photo Credit: Salt River Project)
Pictured is 100 MW West Line Solar Project that’s supplying electricity to Meta and SRP since February 2023. SRP is now seeking more carbon-free energy sources. (Photo Credit: Salt River Project)
  • SRP has opened an all-source RFP for 500 MW new power generation capacity
  • At least 200 MW needs to come online by May 1, 2026 and remaining 300 MW by May 1, 2027
  • It sees the IRA opening up the way to other resource alternatives beyond natural gas alone for the utility to meet increasing demand for electricity

Salt River Project (SRP), Arizona, US based electricity utility, has launched an all-source request for proposals (RFP) round to seek 500 MW new carbon-free power generation capacity with an aim to ensure reliable electricity supply from the beginning of summer 2026.

It follows the company contracting 500 MW solar PV capacity from AES, EDP and NextEra Energy Resources in 2021 (see 500 MW Solar Power Contracts For Arizona Utility).

According to the utility's analysis of the pricing and information submitted in response to the 2021 call, flexible natural gas units were the most cost-effective resource providing requisite reliability. However, it is now open to other power generation resources as 'the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides an opportunity to consider other resource alternatives'.

At the same time, it said meeting the increasing demand for electricity is fraught with challenges faced with supply chain issues, planned coal retirements and decreased hydroelectric generation from 'drought-stricken' Colorado River.

"SRP is issuing this RFP to seek cost-effective alternatives to the flexible natural gas proposal that it will be developing. SRP expects to present the top scoring resource options and a recommendation to its Board of Directors in late 2023," it explains.

The 2023 RFP round is open to but not limited to solar and/or wind combined with energy storage, grid charged energy storage, natural gas combined cycle, natural gas simple cycle, combustion turbines, reciprocating engines, and geothermal technologies. For all projects with energy storage component, the bidders need to provide alternate pricing that does not include storage.

Each project proposed needs to have at least 25 MW nameplate capacity. Of the entire 500 MW, at least 200 MW needs to become operational by May 1, 2026 and an additional of 300 MW by May 1, 2027. SRP may procure additional carbon-free capacity after factoring in their feasibility and cost-effectiveness.

"We must continue to strategically add new resources that help SRP decarbonize our portfolio while meeting our customers' growing needs in the Valley," said SRP's Director of Resource Planning, Grant Smedley.

Last date to submit proposals for this tender launched on February 27, 2023 is April 27, 2023, according to the RFP documents on SRP's website.  

Currently, the utility counts its under contract renewable energy generation capacity that's expected to come online by 2025 as including over 2 GW solar.

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