* 5/14/14 update: FAQs released
Northern States Power Company (d/b/a Xcel Energy) released its long-awaited solar request for proposals (RFP) today. Although it had earlier suggested the RFP would be for up to 150 MW, today’s RFP seeks up to 100 MW of PV resources. The Company explained that the amount acquired through this RFP may ultimately be impacted by other Minnesota Public Utility Commission decisions involving solar resources (see more on at least one related proceeding here).
Eligible proposals must be at least 5 MW AC and the company expressed caution about bids coming in over 50 MW in light of the company’s total solar needs being in flux. Xcel continues to desire projects that will be in commercial operation by December 31, 2016 in order to take full advantage of the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Further the company desires to fulfill the requirement through power purchase agreements (the associated model PPA is available on Xcel's website here), though it is open to bids with different ownership structures. Xcel has indicated an interest in “proposals that offer PPAs along with an indicative offer for ownership in the project through an affiliate of NSP”. Proposals are due June 20, 2014 with selections to be filed with the Commission in late October, 2014.