Pacific Gas and Electric seeks suppliers for pilot PV power plant


Pacific Gas & Electric is looking for suppliers to bid on a 2-MW pilot photovoltaic power plant–the first step in part of its five-year plan to develop 500 MW of solar in its Northern California coverage area. The utility says it wants to use the pilot project, which will be completed by the end of 2009,  to help develop its processes for building and operating PV facilities while it seeks regulatory approval for the full proposal with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

A “contract opportunity announcement” posted on PG&E’s Website says the following:

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The utility “plans to develop utility-owned renewable resources in its service territory. The PV Program targets development of up to 250 MW of utility-owned generation (UOG).  Each PV UOG project is estimated to be between 1 and 20 MW in size and may be placed on commercial rooftops or mounted on ground and will be connected to PG&E’s electricity grid.

“PG&E intends to proceed with the development of a 2 MW PV Pilot Project in 2009 with the purpose of expediting the deployment of the PV Program to allow PG&E to develop and refine internal and external processes needed to develop, permit, construct, and operate a PV facility while it awaits regulatory approval of the 250 MW PV Program.”  

“For this PV project, supplier is required to provide a complete solar generating system, which is comprised of engineering and procurement of all equipment (e.g., PV modules and supports, inverters, interconnecting power and control cables, monitoring and communication equipment, etc.) necessary for a complete operating facility.  As an option supplier can propose to construct, start-up, and commission the facility. 

“This PV project is planned to be a ground mounted and will be located adjacent to a PG&E substation located in PG&E’s Service Territory. The planned duration of the entire project is between 4 to 6 months from award of the contract with an operational date of no later than December 23, 2009.

“Respondents shall be given 1-2 weeks to respond to the RFI (Request for Information).  Successful respondents will be invited to submit a proposal.  Request for Proposal (RFP) is scheduled to be issued on April 27, 2009.”

PG&E says that the suppliers recruited by competitive bid may also be selected to build more such projects, ranging in size from 1 to 20 MW, if CPUC okays the utility’s proposal.

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