551MW of solar power approved by US utilities at 3.8¢/kWh

551MW of solar power approved by US utilities at 3.8¢/kWh
261118 BIG 5 Solar
Published: 29 July 2019 - 11:37 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

Duke Energy’s two North Carolina utilities – Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) and Duke Energy Progress (DEP) – have completed a request for proposals (RFP), via the state’s Competitive Procurement of Renewable Energy (CPRE) program (pdf), that has approved bids of 551 MW of solar power. DEC approved 465 MW while DEP approved 86 MW.

The fourteen winning projects, ranging from 7 MW to the 80 MW maximum size, submitted bids that averaged 3.794¢/kWh and 3.83¢/kWh (below image) for the electricity in 20 year power purchase agreements (PPA). Two of the projects had energy storage.

One project has withdrawn from the RFP after being approved, but was removed from these values. If that project had been included, the DEC region would have had 515 MWac.

The CPRE program has a goal of soliciting 2.6 GW of solar power in the 45 months following January 18, 2018, when the program was instituted.

Eighteen developers submitted 78 proposals (below image) in total between the two utility areas, with ten of the eighteen developers submitting more than one proposal. The total capacity submitted was 2,732.72 MW in total – more than four times the solicited volume.

Four proposals submitted included energy storage, with three of them connecting to the distribution system and one to the transmission system.

The report noted that PPA proposals fees ranged from $500 to $10,000, and that Interconnection Application and Proposal fees totaled $922,710.

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