Renewable power developers can expect to see a draft of the
Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for phase two of Ontario's
Large Renewable Procurement program (LRP II), before the end of
June 2016. Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator
(IESO) has announced that the draft LRP II RFQ is expected to be
posted by June 23 for stakeholder and community feedback. IESO
expects the final LRP II RFQ to be posted by August 1, 2016.
IESO completed phase one of its Large Renewable Procurement
program (LRP I) in April 2016, with the execution of 16 contracts
for the aggregate procurement of 454.885 megawatts (MW) of
renewable energy capacity. The IESO and other stakeholders look to
build on their LRP I experience as attention turns to LRP II.
LRP I: ANATOMY OF A SUCCESSFUL PROPOSAL
The Large Renewable Procurement program is a competitive process
for procuring large renewable energy projects generally larger than
500 kilowatts. LRP I began in mid-2014 with an initial RFQ stage to
qualify applicants, followed by a Request for Proposals (RFP) stage
to evaluate proposed projects. In LRP I, the IESO sought to procure
up to 565 MW of total renewable energy capacity, broken down into
300 MW for wind projects, 140 MW for solar projects, 75 MW for
hydro projects and 50 MW for bioenergy projects.
A total of 42 applicants qualified through the RFQ stage of LRP
I, and 103 proposals were submitted. During the RFP stage, the
applicants were asked to submit project-specific proposals
including details on location, capacity, connection point,
community engagement and aboriginal participation. The 16 winning
proposals were selected based on a four-stage evaluation process
that included rated criteria scoring (based on
landowner/leaseholder support, project community support, execution
of a project community agreement and aboriginal participation),
determination of an "Evaluated Proposal Price" (based on
factors including bid price, contract length, technology capacity
and rated criteria score) and connection availability testing.
On June 9, 2016, the IESO released aggregated details regarding
the eligible proposals received in response to the LRP I RFP. The
LRP I Proposal Summary breaks down the
proposals by various criteria, including proposed site location,
proposed connection point and rated criteria points awarded.
A closer look at the successful proposals reveals that of the 16
projects awarded LRP I contracts, three quarters secured local
community support and almost two thirds executed a project
community agreement. However, three of the winning projects failed
to secure aboriginal participation and two failed to score any
rated criteria points whatsoever, representing almost 30 per cent
of the total capacity awarded in LRP I.
LRP II: MOVING TARGETS, OTHER CHANGES
As the program shifts into LRP II, the IESO is seeking to draw
from lessons learned in LRP I. Pursuant to a directive from the
minister of energy issued on April 5, 2016, in LRP II, the IESO
will seek up to 930 total MW of renewable energy capacity,
comprised of up to 600 MW for wind projects, 250 MW for solar
projects, 50 MW for hydro projects and 30 MW for bioenergy
projects. In comparison to LRP I, targets for LRP II have increased
dramatically for wind and solar projects, while targets for hydro
and bioenergy projects have been reduced. In LRP I, proposals
received for wind and solar projects surpassed procurement targets
by significant margins, while hydro and bioenergy projects were
In anticipation for LRP II, the IESO has initiated stakeholder
and community engagement to solicit feedback on LRP I and suggested
improvements for LRP II. The IESO hosted a two-hour webinar on
April 12, 2016, to explain the results of LRP I and to introduce an
online survey inviting stakeholder feedback. A summary of feedback
from this survey is posted on the IESO's stakeholder engagement
Project developers participating in the survey generally
displayed a relatively favorable view of the LRP I process, while
community groups and members of the general public saw more room
for improvement. Suggested improvements for LRP II included more
IESO-led targeted engagement sessions for specific stakeholder
The IESO is currently preparing a document to respond to
feedback and will circulate and post it in conjunction with draft
documents for the RFQ stage of LRP II, which is scheduled to begin
August 1, 2016.
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