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Renewable Advantage

 

Renewable advantage

 

Seeking lower energy costs for customers

  • We're proposing to add up to 200 megawatts (MW) of new, low-cost renewable energy resources to our Southern Colorado system.
  • Our Renewable Advantage plan calls for a competitive solicitation process to start in December, seeking proposals for new, large-scale renewable energy projects to include wind, solar, and battery storage – up to 200 MW of energy.
  • While we have sufficient power resources to meet customers’ day-to-day electricity needs, Renewable Advantage proposes to deliver significant customer savings by supplementing existing power supplies with lower cost renewable energy.

Carbon-free energy for Southern Colorado

Subject to Colorado Public Utilities Commission approval, the addition of up to 200 MW of new renewable energy resources would result in approximately 60 percent of the utility’s Southern Colorado generation portfolio coming from carbon-free resources by 2023. The company will achieve 30 percent renewables by 2020.

Black Hills Energy 2019 Renewable Advantage Request for Proposals

 

Overview

Black Hills Energy is seeking to acquire projects of up to 200 megawatts (MW) of eligible energy resources (as defined in C.R.S. § 40-2-124, including Section 123 Resources) and storage (stand-alone storage or storage combined with renewable energy) through this solicitation, the capacity of which will be valued appropriate to resource type. The competitive bid process will allow all eligible resources an opportunity to bid, and to be evaluated. This will enable the determination of the most cost-effective resources. In this RFP, the Company has included the bid policies and model contracts necessary for the acquisition of a resource through a competitive bidding process. Importantly, the Company is only seeking to acquire projects in a portfolio that yield customer savings every year.

The RFP documents are available through the link below:

Renewable Advantage RFP Schedule

An indicative schedule for this RFP process is provided below. The Company reserves the right to adjust this schedule appropriately, including, but not limited to, for changes to the regulatory calendar. The indicative date for the issuance of this RFP is December 13, 2020. 

Date Action/Deadline
Dec. 6, 2019 Pre-Bid Conference
Dec. 13, 2019 Issuance of RFP
Feb. 15, 2020 RFP Bids Due

 

Pre-Bid Conference

Date: Dec. 6, 2019

To register: https://blackhills2020.accionpower.com/

Frequently asked questions

What are you announcing?

We are announcing our Renewable Advantage plan – a proposal submitted Nov. 22, 2019 to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to add up to 200 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy resources to our Southern Colorado system. 

Where will the renewable energy come from?

The company will issue a request for proposals (RFP) on Dec. 13, 2019, for new renewable energy resources to be supplied by independent power producers. Projects could include wind, solar, and battery storage. Bidders will have until Feb. 15, 2020, to submit their project proposals. Through a competitive solicitation process, independent evaluators will determine the most cost-effective resource to increase the renewable portfolio of the company, while supplementing existing power supply costs with lower cost renewables. We anticipate PUC approval of a project or projects in mid- to late-2020 and will make an announcement at that time of the winning bidder.

When will the new renewable energy be placed into service?

If approved, the new renewable energy resources would be added to Black Hills Energy’s Southern Colorado system starting no later than 2023.

How much renewable energy will Black Hills Energy have on its system under the Renewable Advantage plan?

The addition of up to 200 MW of renewable energy on our system would mean that approximately 60 percent of our customers’ energy would be generated with low-cost, renewable energy by no later than 2023.

How do you know your customers want more renewable energy?

Our customers have expressed a strong interest in having their electricity supplied by clean, emissions-free renewable energy resources. The City of Pueblo and Pueblo County have committed to be served by 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. Renewable Advantage would make significant progress toward this goal.

What are the environmental benefits of Renewable Advantage?

Our Renewable Advantage plan will result in significant environmental benefits for our customers and Southern Colorado. Adding up to 200 MW of new renewable energy resources to our generating mix will result in lower carbon emissions and assist Southern Colorado as it transitions to clean energy leader, with a renewable portfolio of approximately 60 percent by 2023.

In what other ways will Southern Colorado customers benefit from Renewable Advantage?

With abundant wind and solar resources, we believe Pueblo and Southern Colorado have the potential to lead the nation in the adoption of clean energy development, while also saving customers money and growing the regional economy. As we did with our recently completed Busch Ranch II Wind Project, we’ll continue to seek out local businesses and suppliers for a stronger, cleaner Southern Colorado.

Why act now?

Expiring federal tax incentives are making renewable energy projects extremely attractive for developers from a cost perspective, so there’s never been a better opportunity for Black Hills Energy to introduce a plan like Renewable Advantage. We are issuing our RFP now to ensure developers have adequate time to bid, plan, and complete construction on these projects in order to capitalize on expiring tax incentives.

What happens if the bids come back higher than you expect?

If the final bids do not result in lower power supply prices for our customers, Black Hills Energy we will not proceed with the procurement.

With all of this renewable energy on your system, will you still need to use natural gas-fired generation?

Yes. It takes a balanced mix of generating resources to ensure our customers have the clean, safe, and reliable energy they need and expect – 24x7. The power supplied by our Pueblo Airport Generating Station (PAGS), our modern, highly-efficient natural gas-fired generating station, is critical to this effort. Because of the intermittent nature of renewable energy-based generation - the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine - we must have a consistent source of generation available to be dispatched at all times. PAGS is the most efficient means of ensuring reliable service to our customers.