Across the U.S., utilities are facing the challenge of meeting ambitious new state renewable portfolio standards. After its region passed ambitious new renewable portfolio standards, one utility decided they would work not just to meet these goals, but to surpass them. The company created its own renewable goals, pledging to significantly reduce emissions and eliminate all coal generation—but this plan would require them to procure a significant amount of renewable energy capacity.
They needed a partner to ensure a smooth process that found renewable energy at reasonable prices.
The Buying Process
The utility chose Enel X to help them conduct their renewable energy buying process. Enel X has extensive experience in the world of large-scale utility energy solicitations, having worked with over 100 utilities across the country and with a 100% approval record from state utility commissions.
The utility completed its first solicitation, and will be running annual auctions with Enel X to incrementally add more renewable resources to their generation mix. Enel X’s procurement process standardizes contract terms and ensures off-takers receive as many proposals as possible to find the most competitive project that meets their needs. Here are the five stages Enel X used for the procurement process with the utility:
1. Define RFP terms and create a developer community
Enel X thoroughly prepares and reviews the solicitation documents to clearly define RFP terms. Enel X also helps prepare advertisements and create RFP notices to attract as many qualified developers as possible.
2. Conduct stakeholder workshops to set expectations
In a half-day stakeholder workshop with the off-taker to provide transparency into the process, Enel X explains the details of the RFP, solicitation, and more.
3. Meet with and pre-qualify bidders
Before collecting bids, Enel X meets with all potential bidders who responded to the RFP to explain the process, answer questions, validate their creditworthiness, and establish pre-bid security.
4. Collect bids and score submitted proposals
Enel X collects bids on its platform, then screens submitted proposals and creates a final evaluation that ranks anonymized proposals on a net-levelized cost basis for apples-to-apples comparison.
5. Award project
Once the winning bid has been selected, Enel X reviews the details of the selected proposal with the off-taker, and then negotiates a contract with the project developer.
There are significant regulatory requirements in any bidding process. Enel X supports the filing with the local regulatory entities, providing all necessary data and records to secure approval. Through this process, the utility company has already successfully awarded several projects, securing renewable energy at a competitive price for customers. As the utility works to meet decarbonization goals, Enel X will continue to support the renewable energy solicitations.