OPUC Acknowledged PacifiCorp’s 2020 RFP Shortlist with Conditions

On November 24, 2021, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (the Oregon Commission) acknowledged PacifiCorp’s 2020 Request for Proposals (RFP) final shortlist with several conditions. PacifiCorp will now negotiate power purchase agreement and build own transfer agreements with some or all of the over 3,500 MW of new wind, solar and battery storage projects. 

In April 2020, the Commission approved PacifiCorp’s recommendation for PA Consulting to serve as the Independent Evaluator for the RFP process. PacifiCorp submitted a draft RFP and several parties submitted comments on the draft RFP, including Northwest and Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (NIPPC), Swan Lake North Hydro, LLC, Renewable Northwest (RNW), Staff, and the IE. Ultimately, the Commission approved PacifiCorp’s RFP with specific changes on July 16, 2020.

The first change was that the Commission directed PacifiCorp to remove the minimum eligibility requirement that bidders with current or threatened litigation against PacifiCorp. NIPPC and the IE recommended this requirement be removed, which Staff supported. The Commission determined that PacifiCorp could disqualify a bidder on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the IE without the exclusion.

The second change the Commission conditioned the RFP on was directed at PacifiCorp’s close date for its transition cluster study. The Commission stated that, if a FERC order changed the transition cluster study cutoff date by August 10, 2020, then PacifiCorp’s RFP needed to reflect that change. NIPPC and RNW supported a later cutoff date, and RNW provided a detailed proposal that NIPPC supported, but the Commission declined to adopt because of uncertainty regarding interconnection costs. Staff requested this condition.

NIPPC raised several concerns regarding the pro forma contract language, including terminal value and the option to renew, performance guarantees, waiver of jury trial, and cure period. Regarding terminal value and option to renew, PacifiCorp stated that a PPA bidder could offer the option to renew and that would be taken into consideration by PacifiCorp and the IE when evaluating bids. For performance guarantees, PacifiCorp, Staff, and the IE agreed to include operation and maintenance cost assumptions in the evaluation of build transfer bids, and the Commission committed to monitoring this issue throughout the bid evaluation process. The Commission decided to leave the waiver of jury trial in the pro forma contracts because PacifiCorp explained it was subject to negotiations and a bidder could modify the provision without any scoring penalty. Finally, PacifiCorp clarified there was a cure period in its PPA pro forma.

After Commission approval of the RFP, PacifiCorp conducted the bidding and evaluation process. PacifiCorp received 574 total bids from 43 different bidders for its RFP, which a majority were solar PPA bids. PacifiCorp’s final short list included 1,792 MW of new wind capacity (590 MW as build-transfer agreements and 1,202 MW as PPAs), 1,306 MW of solar capacity (PPAs), and 697 MW of battery storage capacity (497 MW of battery storage paired with solar and 200 MW of standalone battery storage offered via battery-storage agreements).

The Commission acknowledged the final short list, with limited conditions. The Commission’s main conditions on acknowledgement include: if PacifiCorp continues to submit its bid scoring methodology before a draft RFP, then stakeholders should have a longer time, ideally 6 months, to review and comment; in future RFPs at the final shortlist filing, PacifiCorp should provide up-to-date interconnection costs for bids and transmission projects that will be constructed for the RFP projects; in PacifiCorp’s next RFP, PacifiCorp should host a transmission workshop with Staff and stakeholders regarding the federal-state relationship for transmission and alternate financing of future transmission investments; and a directive for PacifiCorp to work with Staff to collect labor and employment information from the final shortlist bidders solely for informational purposes related to House Bill 2021.

Sanger Law, PC and Richardson Adams, PLLC represented NIPPC in this proceeding.

NIPPC represents electricity market participants in the Pacific Northwest, including independent power producers, electricity service suppliers, and transmission companies. NIPPC is committed to facilitating cost-effective electricity sales, offering consumers choices in their energy supply, and advancing fair, competitive power markets.



These materials are intended to as informational and are not to be considered legal advice or legal opinion, nor do they create a lawyer-client relationship. Information included about previous case results does not assure a similar future result.