PROVIDENCE, R.I. – At the direction of Governor Gina M. Raimondo, a competitive request for proposals (RFP) will be issued this week to procure up to 400 MW of affordable renewable energy resources for Rhode Island consumers. National Grid developed the RFP in coordination with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) and Division of Public Utilities & Carriers (DPUC).
"I have set an ambitious goal of making Rhode Island's energy system ten times cleaner in an affordable and reliable manner, and we're well on our way," said Governor Raimondo. "Our commitment to combating climate change is as strong as ever. Along with the recently announced 400 MW Deepwater Wind offshore wind project, this administration is working hard to secure new and diverse supplies of cost-effective clean energy for Rhode Island homes and businesses, reduce our carbon footprint, and spur other benefits for our economy."
Since Governor Raimondo announced her goal to bring 1,000 megawatts of clean energy into the state's energy portfolio in 2017, Rhode Island has more than tripled the amount of renewable power in its portfolio.
Renewable energy resources greater than 20 MW in size, including such technologies as solar, offshore wind, and onshore wind, will be eligible to participate in the RFP. Competitive project developers must submit their bids by October 29, 2018 at noon. Qualified bids will be thoroughly evaluated, with independent oversight by the Office of Energy Resources and Division of Public Utilities & Carriers.
"Governor Raimondo challenged her team to grow Rhode Island's clean energy portfolio ten-fold by 2020 – to 1,000 MW," said State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant. "As part of that effort, in February, the Governor directed us to work with utilities to seek 400 MW of new renewable resources. Now, we are doing just that. By leveraging the benefits of market competition, we look forward to obtaining renewable energy resources that further de-carbonize and diversify our electric grid and save money for Rhode Island customers."
Although the state's largest electric distribution utility, National Grid, will lead this renewable energy procurement, the RFP does allow for potential joint purchases by the Pascoag Utility District and the Block Island Power Company, subject to approval by the respective parties.
"As the state's ratepayer advocate, the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers is committed to fostering energy affordability for all Rhode Island consumers," said DPUC Administrator Macky McCleary. "Clean and affordable energy can co-exist, and this latest effort will identify cost-effective renewable energy resources at scale. I applaud National Grid for enabling the possibility of joint clean energy purchases with utilities in Pascoag and on Block Island – a first for procurements such as this."
The Public Utilities Commission must review and approve selected projects before any contracts are executed. These proceedings, which will include opportunities for public comment, will be accessible to the public and interested stakeholders.
Additional information on the Rhode Island 400 MW Renewable Energy RFP will be made available this week at: https://RICleanEnergyRFP.com.