Maine PUC seeks proposals for Class IA resources under RPS

By Erin Voegele | February 26, 2020

The Maine Public Utilities Commission issued a notice on Feb. 14 seeking proposals from qualifying renewable generation resources for the sale of energy or renewable energy credits (RECs). The facilities must meet Class IA requirements under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.

The request for proposals (RFP) pertains to a bill signed into law by Maine Gov. Janet Mills in June 2019. That legislation, titled “An Act to Reform Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard,” directs the Maine PUC to conduct two competitive solicitation processes to procure an amount of energy or RECs from Class IA resources that is equal to 14 percent of retail electricity sales in the state during 2018, a volume that equates to 1.715 million megawatt hours (MWh). The PUC is to acquire between 7 percent and 10 percent of that 14 percent total through contracts approved by Dec. 31, 2020, referred to as tranche 1. The remaining amount, tranche 2, will be acquired through a future solicitation process that is initiated by Jan. 15, 2021. The RFP issued on Feb. 14 represents the tranche 1 requirement.

A Class 1A resource is defined under the Maine RPS as a “Class I resource other than a Class I resource that for at least 2 years was not operated or was not recognized by the New England independent system operator as a capacity resource, and after September 1, 2005, resumed operation or was recognized by the New England independent system operator as a capacity resource.” A Class I resource is defined as a “new renewable capacity resource.” Renewable capacity resources includes sources of electricity generation that do not exceed 100 megawatts (MW) of capacity and rely on fuel cells; tidal power; geothermal installations; certain hydroelectrical generators; biomass generators that are fueled by wood, wood waste or landfill gas; anaerobic digestion of by-products of waste from animals or agricultural crops, food or vegetative material, algae or organic refuse; or that rely on wind power installations or solar power installations. 

Proposals must be submitted by April 10. According to the PUC, elected bidders will enter into contracts with one or both of Maine’s investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities. Contracts will be for a term of 20 years. Additional information, including a full copy of the RFP, is available on the Maine PUC website.