At this state, procurement groups should align on project criteria to include in an RFP. The Large-Scale Renewables Aggregation Alignment Tool is designed to help groups make key decisions such as:
- What is the desired type of procurement (i.e., physical PPA, virtual PPA, utility special contract)?
- What is the desired type of renewable resource (e.g., solar or wind)?
- Would the group prefer a single resource or a diversified portfolio of projects?
- What is the desired location for the project (e.g., a specific state, wholesale market, or region)?
- Will this be a newly developed resource that might not have been built but for this contract (i.e., will this project be additional)?
- How will participants handle the RECs (i.e., retire, bank, or sell them)?
- What are the acceptable contract lengths (e.g.., 10, 15, 20 years)?
- When is the desired commencement of operations date (COD) for the resource (i.e., when do participants want to start receiving the energy and RECs)?
- What are the cost or net present value (NPV) requirements?
- Will buyers pay a fixed price per MWh throughout the duration of the contract or an escalating price over time?
- Who will own and operate the resource (i.e., utility or third-party ownership)?
- What are the desired co-benefits? (See the next step, “Align on Co-Benefits Requirement,” for more information.)
As groups consider these questions, it will be important to strike the right balance of providing developers clarity where needed yet retaining flexibility where possible. If an issue is non-negotiable, groups should make that clear to ensure that developers provide conforming proposals. That said, maintaining flexibility and openness to creative approaches where possible will likely provide groups with more RFP responses and, potentially, better prices.